As a child, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people; many of whom were artistic or creative in some way or another. At a young age, I was interested in art and very visually motivated. I knew, even then, that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.
My father was the one who first taught me the value of working with my hands. I learned how to use basic tools and woodworking skills in his woodshop. When I was in high school, he taught me how to throw pots on the potter’s wheel: something that he had learned how to do in college. I can only think how blessed I was to have a family that supported and nourished my interest in art, as it became my goal to someday make my way in the world as an artist.
I received an undergraduate degree in Art from Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri where I was introduced to a wide variety of art mediums, but instantly fell in love with clay and sculpture. I honed my pottery skills during two summers as a production potter at Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri. There, I worked with a mentor who has left a large impact on the way I make pots today. After graduation, I attended Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana and Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas for studies in ceramics at the graduate level. After leaving the program at Wichita State University, I moved to Des Moines, Iowa where I worked at RDG Dahlquist Art Studio, a place that focuses on public art in the ceramic medium. Here I learned many new techniques that would then lead me to become interested in slip casting and printmaking on clay. These new ideas and ways of working with clay pushed me toward a new way of thinking about art, what it means to me and how it influences the people who view it.
I have discovered that I like making art that is easily accessible to the common person, as much of the art made these days is not. I like making art that takes its rightful place in the lives of people. I enjoy creating objects that become important in the day-to-day ritual. For me, the actual making of the art is only half of the satisfaction. Only after my art has found its home and is enjoyed by others I become content as an artist.