My pottery career is comprised of two phases – (1) mid 1980s-early 1990s and (2) 2016-present. In the mid-1980s, I learned my trade as a student and studio assistant to Marie Summers. During this time period, I also took an influential workshop with Barbara Gonzales, the great-granddaughter of Maria Martinez where I learned how to make burnish, pit-fired pottery. Almost all my work during this phase was burnished earthenware or porcelain fired in a variety of traditional methods. Also, I was an artist-in-residence for the Durham County Schools during this phase and participated in local art shows.
In 1998, I received my second BA in fine arts at UNC-Greensboro with a concentration in ceramic design. I had started this degree in 1989 and wanted to complete it before getting a Ph.D. in early childhood education from UNC-Chapel Hill. My “real” job during my adulthood has been in early childhood education.
In 2016, I retired from my faculty job at UNC-Greensboro and immediately began re-entering the pottery world. Since then I have participated in numerous local art shows. As described below, my new work is primarily functional stoneware that is glazed. I have a heartfelt commitment to supporting local efforts for the arts, which is why my focus remains local.
My work as a potter is inspired by nature, history, function. The earth tones of my home state of North Carolina are present in my pallet, reflecting the swirling reds, blues, greens and browns of nature. The tradition of pottery throughout history as well as today’s society influence my choice of forms. Some pieces, for example, are inspired by traditional vase shapes and others by contemporary environmental needs reflected in my functional ware. For me, each piece of pottery is deeply connected to the four classical elements—earth, water, fire and air—and to the powers of the creative process that blend them together into a form reflective of both art and function. Ultimately, it is my hope that the pottery I create becomes a source of beauty and usefulness for their owners, both individuals and local community businesses.