Clay... Wonderful Clay
No doubt about it, clay saved my life. Most people would have classified me as a “troubled youth”. If you wanted to be kind, you could say that I was highly creative and pretty darn smart. But we all know that oil and water do not mix. So I found myself confused and frustrated in school. And just when I was hitting a low point in my life, I stumbled into the clay studio. Our high school had a strong ceramics program, with plenty of wheels, kilns and glazes. And best of all, a great ceramics teacher. So just when it was needed most, I discovered my gift with clay. I would spend every possible moment in that studio, the connect to clay growing as my hands worked magic on wheel and my brain soaking up everything I could learn about glaze and how to fire the kilns.
As I showed promise, my instructor helped setup an apprenticeship for a few local potters. I quickly learned the basic skills necessary to run a studio. But perhaps more important, I discovered how difficult it can be to make a living with clay. Over time, I refined my work and was later accepted into Columbus College of Art & Design based entirely on a clay portfolio. But running my own studio was not easy. Slow sales at craft fairs and art shows allowed doubt to crept in, and I eventually returned to college looking for a more reliable way to make a living.
Bits and Bytes of Code
Truth be told, I have always had a love-hate relationship with school. For years I lacked the discipline necessary to follow any official curriculum. I bounced between four different colleges, searching for what I called truth. Eventually after many, many years, I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Ohio State University. And later my curiosity got the better of me again, and I received a masters degree in Business Operational Excellence from Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business. This allowed me to establish a stable living, but the creative spark was still missing.
Returning to Clay
For many years, I only focused on raising a family. My career with technology gave my brain plenty of opportunities to be challenged. But clay continued to pull at my heart with the promise of a simpler way of life. So coming full circle, I found myself slowly returning to clay. It took many years, but I now appreciate the connection I feel to clay and love every minute I spend in the studio. I feel that each new piece is bringing me closer to finding my true voice.
It may have taken me a little longer than most to understand that I can not please everyone. And perhaps more important, I now see the value of building a stronger community and the beauty of sharing who we truly are. So please take a moment to explore my work, and my ever changing story.