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I haven't always been a potter or a New Yorker for that matter. I grew up in Kansas and studied drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, jewelry, sculpture and ceramics in high school. Next, I started college at Truman State University as a painting major but soon switched to ceramics, specifically sculptural vessels. I then earned a MFA in Ceramics from Alfred University sculpting figurative ceramics and moved further east. In Boston I worked on a couple of public art projects, taught at the Museum School, nannied and was an artist-in-residence at the Harvard Ceramics Program. My next move was to Southern Illinois where I taught as an adjunct at Southeast Missouri State University and had two children. With little time for sculpting I began to make small hand painted dishes for my kiddos and their friends. When we landed in our forever home in Elmira, New York I was keen to set up a studio and find my niche.
Today I am a full-time studio artist and adjunct instructor of ceramics at Corning Community College in upstate New York. My hand painted pots can be found in a handful of regional shops and galleries as well as Handwork, Ithaca's Artisan Cooperative where I have been a member since 2009.
Decorated from top to bottom, inside and out my colorful hand painted stoneware pottery is a vibrant mash up of historical patterns from all over the world. Vintage textiles, wall coverings and cast glassware are all part of the mix to make the old new again inciting a passion for nostalgic discovery and creative collaboration. Crafted from custom made plaster press molds and soft clay slabs I design unique one-of-a-kind table ware. An opaque layer of porcelain slip coats the dark clay to create a blank canvas for playful patterns skillfully executed using wax resist, colored slips and underglazes. Lastly, I draw the final outlines of the pattern drawing through the layers of color to reveal the rich brown clay beneath, a technique known as sgraffito. Transparent glaze colors are often filled in after the initial firing and some pieces may take a dip in a tin white glaze to highlight surface texture. The resulting dish is pure joy empty or filled.
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