A few things to note:
B.A. University of Alaska: Anchorage, AK
Independent Studies San Diego State University, CA
M.F.A. Pennsylvania State University- State College, PA
Where is your studio? Seattle, WA at my home. My partner George Rodriguez and I bought a home and we are slowly improving the facilities and studio flow bit by bit. Check out our past Kickstarter Project- IGNITE: An Essential Kiln Yard, which helped us fund our kiln yard… We love having visitors! Please email me for a tour if you are in the area!
What is your favorite museum? I have two favorite museums:
One is the Deutsches Technikmuseum/Technology Museum in Berlin. This museum is about process. Everything from manufacturing, transport, brewing, printing, computer science, engineering, communications, and textiles… it goes on and on. I love to learn, especially about how processes are used or how objects are made. I could spend days in this museum just taking it all in. One of my favorite parts was seeing the process for making felted, molded hats. The molds that were used are so beautiful and so was the textile made from it. I also enjoyed the windmill section and seeing how grain was ground using these buildings!
The other is the City Museum. This museum is a former International Shoe Company in St. Louis, Missouri. It is 600,000 sq. ft. on several floors… It houses an “eclectic mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of unique, found objects” in its maze like tunnels and rooms (quoted from the Museum’s website http://citymuseum.org/). I this museum you can crawl along like a gerbil through rebar tunnels that arch up into the sky, get lost in a labyrinth of slides between floors or roast marshmallows on a campfire. All this is constructed from materials of the city… Bob Cassilly and his crew of 20 artisans built the museum using materials that are historical or others many would consider detritus… old chimneys, salvaged bridges, car parts, airplane fuselages, tiles, and more. It is SO worth a visit! It is a great way to explore the history and materials of a place through play.
What are your hobbies?
I spend my time outside the studio in many ways… it cycles by season or how busy I am with studio work. I spend most of my extra time in the garden, especially in the Spring and Summer. I grow everything I can manage- from amaranth to pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes to raspberries, persimmons to pears. I have planted seven fruit trees since buying my house a year and a half ago. In the garden my mind can wander to raindrops and whatever birds are visiting. It feels peaceful and full of potential.
In the fall I love to jar up the harvest into pickles, preserves, chutneys, sauces, and jams! I also have chickens, which are a constant source of entertainment and eggs. I love to go out and hear live music and I dabble in playing the banjo and fiddle. In the rainy seasons I hunt mushrooms. I enjoy projects around the house- sewing curtains, crocheting a winter hat, making earrings, or basket weaving. I try to get to yoga and to spend time walking in the parks near my house. I also spend time baking: pies, biscuits, bread…
The beach is near my home. It is full of life and a place I visit. Seashells, waves lapping, children playing- I love to take it all in. Learning is my biggest hobby. I am always up for learning some new skill or way of making with familiar or new materials. This keeps my world expanding and full of new ideas.
What place has been significant for your career?
Moving back to Seattle, my home-town, and getting a more permanent studio has been a huge support to my career. I got a huge amount from moving from schools, to residencies, to jobs. It helped me meet many people, and build great friendships. It taught me how different studios functioned and what worked for me. It also took months out of my productivity.
Transitioning to the next step in life is exhilarating and exhausting. It was hard for me not to know what the next step would be until weeks before. It took a lot of energy to be open to all the options to which I applied. It took even more energy to pack it all up, find a new home, readjust and get new work done for the next deadline. I loved it and now I am happy to not have to move my studio! Since I am staying I can invest in a different way- in kilns, painting my studio a color I enjoy, in building up the local clay community. All the energy I had put into applications and moving can be focused on developing new forms or planting a garden! I now have more time to give back and have chosen to help with the Washington Clay Arts Association by facilitating shows and socials. Now I can get to know my neighbors better, where the best beaches or trails are, and expand my local presence by having a holiday studio tour at my house! My life has become more about the present and less about having to plan where I will live or make work next year. This feels great.
Lastly, whose mug do you drink out of the most?
This week it has been John Chwekun’s cup. I went to school with him at San Diego State University. It is an old cup and brings back some good times laughing in our “hallway studio”. It is just the right size and has stood the test of use over time.
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.