After 4.5 billion years of endless cycles of heat, pressure, decomposing, sorting by wind and water and then 10 minutes in the pug mill, this thaumaturgical dirt arrives in my studio, neatly packed in plastic and cardboard. With both hubris and humility I join the endless amaranthine of my clay – simultaneously interrupting and duplicating the timeless spiral. With wisdom, born of alternating compliance and rebellion my clay is ready.
And after years of learning and practicing and with delusions of the cognoscenti, so am I.
Challenges never end. They keep coming, keep me excited and keep me going. I habitually get drawn into play and experimentation. The question – “what would happen if….?” occupies my thoughts. To some it may seem like I am careening between techniques and tricks. But, whatever latest shinny object absorbs my attention at the moment, I am inevitably headed toward form and content as political and social commentary. Weird, anthropomorphized, gravity-”defying chess pieces morph into a collective considering class and capitalism. A tall cylinder becomes a container to repress a movement toward justice and equality. Additionally, my laser printed decals help when I reach for more detailed content and comment and when I am just having a good laugh.
I am also (still) overwhelmingly moved by the work of our potter foremothers and fathers. And although archeologists and art historians give it only a cursory glance, most of the pots that come to us from our distant past come through the hands of women.
I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, received a bachelor of arts in Anthropology from the University of Minnesota and completed coursework for an M.A. in Anthropology at University of Minnesota, Indiana University and University of Manitoba. I earned a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Regina with special interest in Educational Psychology and Adult Education.
My academic pottery training was at both University of Regina in Saskatchewan with Marilyn Levine and Franklyn Heisler and at the University of Minnesota with Randy Johnson. I also studied with Randy Woolsey. Their work still shapes my thoughts and choices.
Over the years, when not making pottery, I worked with battered women, high-risk street kids, teen prostitutes, adults with chronic mental disorders, and with communities engaged in creating social, political, and economic change.
I currently teach a variety of pottery classes at Northern Clay Center.