While I have always loved the idea of working with clay, the first time I took a class was in high school. In college I took one more. After college, I was fortunate enough to be able to take classes at the Goshen Clay Guild, where I am now a member. Now, you can also find my mini gnomes and soap dishes at Soapy Gnome, and my elephant mugs at The Elephant Bar, both in Downtown Goshen.
Many of my pieces incorporate the natural world, so its great having the Goshen Millrace right outside to drive the inspiration. Using leaf prints or stamps is common in my work, as well as the creation of pieces you can use with or in nature, such as hanging planters, or bee and bird baths. Inspiration for my elephant mugs comes from my study abroad experience in Tanzania. Halfway through the semester, we took an excursion through Serengeti National Park. Here, we encountered many animals, including elephants. Due to an elephant's trunk working well as a handle on a mug, my elephant mugs have become one of my main creations. Besides the elephant mugs, I experiment with other animals and plant mugs, many that are Indiana native flora and fauna.
While I enjoy working on the wheel, I equally enjoy hand building. It is slow and detailed work, but is oh so satisfying once you finish. Below are a couple examples: on the left is a large pieces that I created for guests to sign at my wedding. I loved the idea of being able to see it out in the open everyday, instead of the signatures sitting in a book on a shelf somewhere. The picture in the middle shows a collection of Alice in Wonderland tea set I hand built for a family member was fun to build, and I enjoyed reaching outside my comfort zone to build something new. On the right, shows my Swamp White Oak tree in winter - it shows just a few leaves still on the tree and rough bark, as is the same with these oak trees.