My love for and connection to the arts began as a child growing up under the umbrella of a beautiful family whom were educators and artists. I was exposed to art in many different facets. My favorite gifts as a child were boxes of brand new colored pencils, fresh charcoal to draw with, clay, and paper. My Grandmother and mother, whom were artists, were the sparks the ignited my interest and love of the creating. I found myself attending art openings in which their works were on display, and feeling proud that I had been there at times when their work had been created.
Having been born and spending the first decade of my life in beautiful Eastern Washington, I had the opportunity to be a part of exciting family field trips over the region. We combed the walls around the Snake River in search of petroglyphs that were created by native peoples hundreds of years ago and imagined what their lives must have been like trying to understand the messages of their images. I loved the road trips and picnics that would have us driving alongside the beautiful basalt cliffs that were a part of this region. The textures, and earthy rich tones that were a part of these cliffs truly seemed to influence the glazes and textures of my clay works over the years.
I provided myself through my life a variety of educational opportunities in the field of arts with an emphasis on ceramics. I focused some of my study at Central Washington University in their ceramic department. Up to the present I have participated in self -enrichment and extended education ceramic courses while gravitating to those courses which emphasize global studies and multicultural awareness. Having the opportunities to travel also enriched my awareness and allowed me to form new friendships with potters and ceramic artists in all over the world.
Clay has opened the door and provided me so many lovely experiences. Teaching, self expression, community giving, and a strong connection to the global clay community, are all areas in which my life has been linked to the wonderful art medium of ceramics.
My teaching has allowed me to offer workshops and classes in clay in my own studio, taking on the role as the Artist in Residence at a variety of elementary schools, formulating and implementing the art curriculum for a local Arcadia Montessori School and working in after school art programs at the elementary and junior high levels.
Ceramics has allowed me to give to my community in many ways. Two of my favorite projects were the Empty Bowls Project and Women Fire Clay. The Empty Bowls Project had me producing and donating bowls that were sold to bring awareness to hunger and raise monies for programs that supplement the nutritional needs of those who need help. Local food banks and Backpacks For Kids were just a few of the programs that these efforts helped support. Another heartfelt project that I lead was titled, ”Women,Fire, Clay”. This ceramic project was offered to a group of women that were utilizing the services of Catherine Place a beautiful non-profit resource center for women in a variety of life’s transitions that is located in Tacoma Washington. Fifteen women participated in the event. We created a work in clay that reflected our feelings about ourselves and the world around us. The artworks were then fired using the alternative method of pit firing. The project culminated with an exciting art show at the Tacoma Art Museum’s Community Arts Gallery. It was truly enriching for all involved.
Ceramics and the arts will always be woven in to my life. I understand and value the role the arts play in our lives and the human experience.