A Disappointing Little Plastic Potter's Wheel

I started throwing on a potters wheel when I was 24, but I had wanted to learn how to throw clay since I was a little girl. Then again, I was kind of a weird kid.

As a child I loved to draw, paint and sculpt in clay. I had some natural ability and lots of encouragement from teachers and my parents. I didn’t really play outside much, I never even learned how to ride a bike. I just made a lot of drawings, paintings and sculptures, particularly of cats and unicorns.

When I was about nine years old my parents bought me a little plastic potters wheel. I can still remember the picture on the front of the box; a little girl, the wheel spinning, and a perfect little clay cup sitting in the middle. I got so excited; could I really make a perfect little clay cup with this machine? Of course, the wheel didn’t spin fast enough to make anything. Then the wheel didn't spin at all. I was so disappointed I asked my parents to return the stupid plastic potter's wheel that didn't work to the store.

No worries, one day when I was older I’d throw on a real potters wheel and make real pottery. Until then, I'd stick to sculpting cats.

In college I was required to take two studio art courses to complete my bachelors degree in art history. I decided to take ceramics thinking that now was my chance to learn to throw clay. I soon found myself in a dusty studio surrounded by a mix of young kids, retired seniors and everyone in between; I was also surrounded by roughly 16 enormous, old, heavy kick wheels with motors. I was intimidated by the equipment, but I took to throwing quickly. I was able to center a lump of clay in about 30 minutes, by the end of the first class I had made my first bowl. And with that, I was hooked.

I eventually got a job in the school’s studio loading kilns, reclaiming clay and mixing glazes. After three years I decided to build my own studio to work in at home. I bought my electric potter's wheel off Craigslist, acquired my kiln from a friend who pulled it out of a dumpster and put them both in the back corner of my parent’s garage. My studio is still there, but it now occupies half my parent’s garage.

I make fine pottery; pieces that are lovely to look at but are happiest when being gently used. I incorporate original drawings of creatures and odd objects onto the surface of my pottery using silk screens I make myself. My designs tend to sit in the interiors of my pieces, I like how they look there rather than the typical place on the outside. I like how they peek at me while I sip my tea, sort of like a sentinel over my tea-time. I like how my designs seem a bit out of place in that fine cup, a bit subversive, a bit unexpected.

I’m still kinda weird.

Legal imprint