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 on both a conscious and non-conscious level. To some it may seem that I am careening between techniques and tricks. But, what ever 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. And a flat slab, slip, terra sig, and texture comment on the collision of human work and the natural world. 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 fore-mothers 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 ABT, M.A. in Anthropology at University of Minnesota, Indiana University and University of Manitoba. I earned a Masters 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 with Marilyn Levine and Franklyn Heisler and at the University of Minnesota with Randy Johnson. I also worked and studied with Randy Woolsey. Their work still shapes my thoughts and work.
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, to help them understand and overcome social and economic barriers.
I currently work full time producing and teaching pottery, though social/political issues are never far from my thinking and acting.
My studio is located at Northern Clay Center. I teach adults at Hopkins Community Education and Northern Clay Center, and seniors for Northern Clay Center.