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I first found clay under the sand along lakes and rivers in the Mississippi River Valley where I grew up.  I loved the feel and smell of clay.  My Great Uncle Frank lived on the family homestead in a brick house made from clay dug from the hillside.  By the time I was born, the kilns had long lay dormant, and many a child was found rooting around for bricks on the property. I feel that I came by my love of clay naturally. 


Graduating with an Elementary Education/Art Concentration degree, I was able to take courses in ceramics.  I then taught and directed art programs in Ohio for two years, and my love of clay grew.  


During my college years, I had backpacked in the Rocky Mountains, loving the wide open spaces.   I was drawn to the west.  I was fortunate to apprentice with Peggy Steffes in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana, firing with wood.  I continued working with fellow potters, Hal Matthews and Tom Schultz in an enterprise called The Warehouse, Artists' Co-op and Gallery, in Missoula. I enjoyed getting to know fellow potters who shared their love of clay, glazes and building and firing kilns, along with graphic artists, Monte Dolack and Jim Clayborn.   I went on to begin my own studio, Mill Creek Pottery in the Bitterroot Valley. Both ventures involved building and experimenting with gas kilns.  


While in Montana, I met my husband and life coach, Bill. In the midst of raising four wonderful children, we moved back to my home state of Minnesota where I established yet another studio, and participated in local art fairs, including the Edina Art Fair and Nordic Fest in Decorah, IA.  I taught after school and summer programs for children and adults, through Community Education. I also taught in my home studio.  By the time our third child was born, I surrendered the life of pottery and art fairs.  In keeping with my children's schedule, I enlisted myself as a day care provider and later as an elementary school teacher.  I love working with children.  


As our children went off to college, I returned to my work in ceramics in a renovated home pottery studio, working in the summers and on weekends.  I have dedicated the past seven years to full-time work in ceramics, primarily in stoneware and porcelain.  I have participated in juried shows, including the Driftless Area Art Festival in Soldier's Grove, WI, The Bluff Country Studio Art Tour in Southeastern Minnesota, and the Winona Art Walk.  I have sold my pottery in stores and galleries in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  


I attended workshops with master potter Steven Hil In 2016 and 2018.  He is an expert in the exploration of microcrystalline formations in glazes. He has achieved the look of a wood fired pot with sprayed glazes in the slow cooling of an electric kiln. In 2019, I received a SEMAC grant that allowed me to explore Hill's sprayed glazes on porcelain altered forms.  In 2021, I received a Minnesota State Arts Council Grant to continue my work on sprayed microcrystalline glazes.

I am currently exploring color and design with sgraffito, painting and altered forms.

Our family has grown to include my childrens' spouses, partners and four grandchildren.  They are spread from Maine to Illinois to Kansas to Australia! 


Winona Mary JPG.JPG
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