I began throwing pottery in 2017 as a respite from a graduate program in clinical psychology. After hours staring at a computer screen I craved tactile sensation and creativity, so I was incredibly fortunate to find access to a fully equipped pottery studio through a friend. I had worked with ceramics in the past but never learned how to throw on the wheel, so I taught myself through reading books, watching videos, and a lot of trial and error. Little did I know at the time that it would lead into a full time business making pottery.
The process of making ceramics holds many valuable life lessons. Throwing pottery on the wheel requires a balance of control with submission, while accepting the material characteristics of clay and the forces of nature which act upon it. The entire process of throwing, trimming, drying, and glazing, requires a great deal of patience, as it takes time to allow the clay to reach its proper hydration at each stage for optimum workability. Sometimes it can be over a month for a piece to be completed from start to finish. The final firing has been a challenging practice in letting go of control, allowing the materials to interact while trusting that I’ve calculated, prepared, and applied the glazes correctly. After many long hours of work and planning, the final stage of production is surrendered to the kiln, which will ultimately determine the finished product.
Opening the kiln is often a genuine surprise, sometimes with disappointments but always with wonder at the transformation that occurs when heat is applied to raw elements. It still amazes me that a solid and functional object can be created from something that was once just dust and water, a practice which is both an ancient and universal aspect of human civilization.
Ceramic pots take time and great care. They are a daily reminder that anything worth doing in life requires acceptance, patience, and trust in the process, knowing that so much of what is determined in our lives is out of our control. I strive to make humble, quiet pottery that is functional yet beautiful. It is my hope that these pieces will live with their owner daily, beside them with their morning coffee or at a dinner table surrounded by friends and loved ones. The process has brought me a greater sense of peace, humility, and gratitude, which I hope to pass on through my work.