I have been creating my pottery since 1999. After studying graphic design, I earned a masters degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University in 1991. Afterward my skills in both design and science were put to use as a research illustrator for the university for a number of years. During that time, my interest in ceramics was kindled and inspired by the work of a fellow artisan, so I returned to school to study ceramics for two years in 1998, and eventually had a debut showing at the Associated Artists’ Gallery in Carbondale Illinois. My pottery is sold at various art fairs, and in January 2010 I opened my shop on Etsy where all can view my work. I specialize in functional pottery making serving bowls, mugs and other pieces featuring a majolica glaze decorated in brilliant colors over a red earthenware body. Each item is hand formed or hand thrown on a potter’s wheel, trimmed, and allowed to dry for approximately one week depending on size, density and air humidity before it is bisque fired. This stage of firing takes 16-18 hours and is then followed by a 24 hour cooling period. The white background is applied using an opaque, lead free Majolica glaze, and then hand painted using a mason stain/ frit combination. The pottery pieces are then fired again for approximately 8 hours, and after another cooling for another 24 hours. All of the pieces are food safe, and the smaller bowls and mugs may be used in the microwave for heating times of less than three minutes. To clean, they may be hand washed or placed on the top rack of a dishwasher.
My studio is located near my home, which is nestled in a corner of the forest, complete with the namesake of my business, Clay Lick Creek. I named my clay studio Clay Lick Creek Pottery after the name of the creek that flows across the land where I live. Nature inspires me, from the smallest to the largest of creatures: from the colors of geological formations to the colors of the sunrise and sunset. The critters I live with inspire me as well—two dogs, two cats and many chickens. Add to that a little bit of my quirky humor and what transpires is a palette of vibrant, joyful and whimsical designs that come to life on my pottery. Working with clay is like a dance, there is a rhythm for each movement and a time for each gesture, and I have learned the rhythms of the clay and how the environment effects my pottery's creation.