A few things to note:
B.F.A. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
M.F.A. University of Colorado - Boulder
Where is your studio? I just moved into a great space in the Ravenswood neighborhood in Chicago about 5 miles from my home. I share it with two other artists: Sean O'Connell and Amy Deneseyla. There is a great "Studio Visit" article in the October Ceramics Monthly issue that has several pictures of the space.
Who is an artist who inspires you today? There are three that I am constantly drawn to for different reasons, those would be Mark Pharis, Kim Dickey and Eugene Von Brunchenhein. But if I had to pick only one it would be Eugene Von Brunchenhein. I didn’t discover him as an artist until I had finished graduate school and I feel had I seen his work at a different time in my career, I may have had a different trajectory in my work altogether. The way he manipulates clay, the forms he creates and the incredible way he creates purely fantastical worlds through these objects, blows my mind.
What is your first memory of making something ceramic? My first memory of making art and specifically ceramics is when I was probably 9 or 10 years old. I don’t even remember asking for it, but my parents gave me a battery operated “Potters Wheel” for Christmas. I think it ran on 2 D batteries and was more of a glorified record player than a pottery wheel. I remember trying to center the clay that it came with on top of our dining room table and the wheel nearly came to a stand still. I don’t think of it as a pinnacle time, but rather an oddity because something that didn’t really lead anywhere (making my first pot, which didn’t happen…) has truly led me everywhere. Ironically, I still have the little sculpting tools from that first kit! They actually sometimes come in quite handy!
Tell us one thing nobody knows about you. I have a phobia of balloons. Totally ridiculous. Totally irrational, but they scare the bejeezus out of me. Okay, maybe not as much now, but when I was younger it was always a problem at birthday parties because everyone would want to play games where you would sit on balloons, walk around with balloons between your legs or pass balloons from person to person using an awkward passing technique that usually resulted in them popping and consequently me being in a constant state of panic. It's gotten better as I have gotten older, but nothing is more horrifying than a car full of one of those balloon "bouquets".
Which mug do you drink from the most at home? There are two cups in heavy rotation. The first being a Maren Kloppmann mug; it's a very simple opaque white glaze with a small band of chartreuse green glaze around the foot. My mom gave it to me for Christmas many years ago and I love it! The second is a Marc Digeros mug I bought myself for my birthday in 2010. It's a muddy, grey lilac color with this incredible banding/line around it that almost looks like graffiti. I was completely interested in the surface, but it's also the perfect size.
Objective Clay was founded by fourteen artists with a shared vision to create an artist established and maintained online space. This space functions as a gallery to view our latest work as well as a window into our current thoughts in process. By sharing our ideas and opening our studios, we invite artists, non-artists, educators, and students to actively engage in our artistic practices. In this virtual studio, the people who love pots can view/purchase new work and form direct relationships with the artists who make them.