I have always loved making bread!
and always will love making bread.
I began working in clay in my late 20’s while living in Atlanta, GA. At that time, I was a cook in a coop vegetarian restaurant and a single mom of a 3-year-old son. I was looking for something creative to do with my time and found Callanwolde Arts Center, where a new program was being offered by the City Parks & Recreation. Rick Berman, fresh out of grad school in Athens, GA was hired to establish a ceramics program. I learned so much from Rick, who was an inspiring and a generous teacher. I immersed myself in throwing pots, mixing glazes, making clay, and had my first experience firing cone 10 reduction kilns. I even had a chance to build a raku kiln while working as an assistant in the clay studio at Callanwolde. It was a wonderful opportunity and grounding in the world of clay.
I continued pursuing my passion where finding my way in pottery became an adventure. Paulus Berenson had recently published his groundbreaking book, Finding One’s Way with Clay, and it revealed to me a new way to approach life’s mysteries through the medium of clay.
In 1974, I drove to Nevada with a friend and spent a month at Tuscarora Pottery School, run by Dennis Parks, who fired his kilns with scrap oil. We worked outside in a geodesics dome and had a grand old time living in an old western ghost town. This is when I became convinced--I wanted to be a potter.
In my earlier thirties I moved back to San Francisco and worked for 2 years at the Ruby O’Burke studios in Noe Valley. Ruby was a cantankerous 85-year-old woman who owned 3 dachshunds. She had founded a community studio on the lower floors of her home where there were probably 20 potters, all renting spaces and the use of her kilns. Ruby’s Studio still exists long after she parted and is now called “Ruby’s”.
I married in 1978 and moved with my puppeteer husband, my son, and his son to Plainfield, VT to be closer to The Bread & Puppet theater which my husband was part of. I opened my own studio in a rented building on a dirt road, which had a gas kiln that had been built there and passed on by a previous potter. There I found a rich community of craftspeople in central Vermont. I became part of a group that founded a cooperative craft gallery in Montpelier called the Artisan’s Hand, which is still thriving today! I sold my creations at craft fairs, galleries, and shops throughout Vermont.
Later in 1982 I became an art and pottery teacher at a local High School. It represented a turning point in my life because I realized how much I loved working with people rather than being alone working in clay.
This passion for working with people led me to my interest in psychology, and on to graduate school and a career as a therapist. I retired from my practice after 20 years as a psychotherapist in 2011.
Since then, I have been fully dedicated to making pots again. Today I work in a small studio in a shared space in the heart of the arts district in Burlington, Vermont firing my pieces in a Bailey reduction kiln and a raku kiln., I enjoy the feeling of being back to my roots. Speaking of roots, just two years ago I was able to reconnect with my mentor and inspiration, Rich Berman while passing through Atlanta. He was as handsome as ever and I got to buy one of his incredible raku pots before continuing on my way to St. Petersburg, where I spend my winters working at Clayworks, a community studio there.