Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?
I live with my husband and two daughters in Kansas City. We also have a dog and two guinea pigs who keep us entertained. I have been teaching high school social studies for the last 19 years and my husband is a software engineer. As a family we love to watch live music, travel, explore the city, go for hikes, spend time with family and watch lots of British baking shows. Most nights you will find us driving the kids around to dance, cross country, band, orchestra, choir etc.
What drew you towards working with ceramics and what do you enjoy the most about the process?
I was first drawn to ceramics in high school. I loved the earthy feel of the clay, as well as the excitement of not knowing what you would find when you opened the kiln. Currently, I enjoy the meditative nature of throwing pots. I like to sit down at the wheel and put on a good podcast or some relaxing music. I’ve read that gardening can be a mood booster just from having your hands in the soil. Clay has the same effect on me. It also makes me feel good to be able to give people handmade gifts. It’s fun to open up your cabinet and see lots of little pieces of art, and I enjoy being able to pass that feeling on to other people.
How do Mayco products fit into your work?
Mayco products have been a great fit for me. I use auto detail tape to create designs on my pieces. The Mayco Stroke and Coat line has been perfect for those projects because the glazes don’t run and the colors are so predictable. I primarily work with speckled clay and I love the look of the speckles coming through the colors. It has a very earthy effect. I think I have almost every color!
How do you come up with your design ideas?
My eyes are always open for new design ideas. Sometimes they come from shapes or designs that I see while walking the dog, other times I might see a pattern in a mural or photograph that I want to try and re-create. We also love going to local craft shows and that is a fun place to find inspiration.
Can you tell us a little about your studio space?
Once covid hit we decided to build a ceramics studio in our basement. We ordered a wheel and some drying racks and have been building the space as we go. It’s nice and bright with a painting of our pug that passed away a few years ago and a Bob Dylan concert poster on the wall. We started to notice that clay dust was getting tracked around the rest of the house so I designated a pair of old slippers as pottery slippers and that might be the biggest boon of having a home studio.
We noticed your daughters are involved in ceramics as well. What do they like about ceramics? Do they help you create your pieces? What are their favorite pieces to make?
The girls enjoy hand building and throwing pots on the wheel. I think their favorite part of the process is being able to make gifts for their teachers and friends. They like putting thought into what that person would enjoy and how they can make their vision a reality. One of my favorite pieces that they have made is a big purple octopus with googly eyes that sits in the window by our kitchen sink. They are also a big help when it’s time to get ready for a sale. They wrap up the pieces and offer advice on how to set up the display.
Picture credit: Adrianne Metcalf and Hound47 Photography