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 figured 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 five 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. I received a SEMAC grant that allowed me to explore Hill's sprayed glazes on porcelain altered forms. In lieu of a live exhibit as my capstone at the Winona Public Library, I produced a Youtube video along with a Zoom talk.
Our family has grown to include my childrens' spouses, partners and four grandchildren. We are truly blessed.