Anyone remember being back in high school and being told you have to take an elective in order to graduate? And either being super excited if you were artistically inclined or if you were like me, trying to just find an open art class to draw some stuff and get it over with? Well luckily for me all the art classes were filled and the only thing left open was the ceramics class, so I had to take it. Turns out its one of the best things that could've happened and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Now I've always been a very crafty person, I love to make things with my hands, but I've never really considered myself an artist. Painting and drawing are not my forte, even sculpting is not one of my strong suits. The lovely thing about clay, though, is it can be functional rather than just art (although it certainly can be both). The first couple weeks of me sitting in that ceramics class trying to figure out how to sculpt an animal out of a block of clay was not my favorite thing to do, although it was exactly what I was picturing when signing up for the class. After weeks of trying to perfect my hippo (yes that's the animal I chose because it's basically just a log with ears) we were introduced to the potters wheel. That's when my hands and heart began to work together to really create what I wanted.
The wheel and I became friends instantly. I was pretty good at it from the get go and making mugs and vases and bowls quickly became my favorite thing to do. I got so into it in fact, there was a point in high school when my ceramics teacher actually offered to sell me an unused kick wheel. The specifics on why it never happened are a bit blurry now but it must've been a good reason. Ceramics became my favorite class and the studio became my favorite place to be.
Fast forward about 6 years and I am out of high school and taking college courses out of my home during a national pandemic. I had taken two years off from school after graduating and didn't touch clay that whole time. When I finally decided to go last year I was taking ceramics classes before the pandemic and reminding myself how much I loved and missed it. When I moved back home after the summer, I wasn't about to just accept that I'm not able to do this thing I love so much for however long again while this pandemic goes on. So, I decided to try and do something about it. Picked up my computer and emailed my high school ceramics teacher. I asked if she remembered offering me a wheel back in the day and if she for some wild reason had it still. She said no.. but she did have an electric wheel I could have.
Since that message three months ago I've: picked up the wheel and moved it into my back yard, created a makeshift studio tent, bought a kiln, and started a business. I'm still taking college classes to get my degree in environmental science and I hope to incorporate my love the environment into my ceramic work and business.