Get to Know
I grew up in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, where I first started my studio. Since, I have relocated to the Space Coast in Melbourne, Florida. I discovered an interest in clay with a pottery class I took in Jr. High School. It was just basic hand building techniques, like slab and coil work, but it was enough to plant a seed. The first time I had access to a pottery wheel, I was in High School. After my very first session on the potter's wheel, I was hooked! I began going every day to practice, and spent as much time as I could in the school's ceramics room, sometimes taking up to 4 ceramics classes a day. Working in clay became my passion and even then, I knew I wanted to be a potter. It was a difficult time in my life and I think that is why I focused most of my energy into pottery. During my senior year, I was able to take a Raku workshop at Peters Valley Craft Center, which only helped fuel my desire to keep learning and grow as an artist. I entered and won several art competitions with "First Prizes" and "Best in Show" awards. I earned an art scholarship and art sponsorship before leaving school.
After High School, I wasn't really sure what one would do to become a professional potter. There was no set rule or recipe that I had ever heard of. It wasn't like, go to college for four years, get a degree, voila you are a pro. I had ideas of going to some high priced art school at some point, but soon realized I would be in debt forever with that route. So, I called around every place in the phone book that mentioned the word "pottery", looking for work and learn. I was lucky enough to find a studio that could use my help, and I went to work as a potter's apprentice. At the same time, I started taking classes at the community college. After all my hard work in the class, I got a "B" in my pottery class in college. I continued working for the studio, where I think I learned more simply watching, than any class could ever teach. I was able to attend fine art shows and gained some exposure with the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. I decided to try my hand at running my own pottery business.
I went off to work on my own, and quickly got swallowed up in the business end of things. I soon realized that running a pottery of my own was not the same as having it as a hobby or being an apprentice. For me, making pots was fun, but it wasn't always necessarily what people would like to buy. I didn't think I could make a real living out of making pots and I decided to give up the dream, "grow up" and get a "real" job. Though I have seen success with other ventures, in my time away from the studio, at some point I realized there was something missing.
The Mud Place began in my heart well before I even knew I wanted to try and run a business again, and I am so grateful for the second chance. It started as a late night conversation with my husband where I said something like "I think I might get a potter's wheel - just for fun". It was really just a dream that just grew. Today I am selling my pottery on several websites and at fine art shows, and I am constantly working at improving my craft. While it isn't all just playing in the mud, I really love my job.