Ceramics stole her heart and she was forever and wonderfully changed....
It all began in 2008 when I came back to Michigan to attend university. Michigan seemed like a good choice since I missed fall weather and needed a change of scenery. After a few years of taking courses I decided to sign up for a ceramics class. On the first day I found myself elbow deep in the reclaim bin. It is a watery container filled with silky mucky leftover clay used for making new clay. As my fingers threaded themselves through the slop I fell in love. Ceramic art appeals to every aspect of my nature. The texture of the clay and the process of working with my hands is very satisfying. I am also able to draw upon my love of history, story, myth, and learning to consistently influence my work.
I took as many ceramic classes as I could. I studied historical pottery and contemporary artists. I tried firing technique after firing technique. I have lost count of the number of hours I have worked in the studio and the number of nights I went without sleep to finish a piece. Even after all that, I still find myself craving more and as much in love as I was on that first day; every time I go into the studio I know I am entering a special place. I lose myself for an hour or two (or three, or four) in something that is completely different from any other thought process I have to use throughout the day. It relaxes and excites me in ways that no other activity has been able to do.
In May of 2013 I graduated with a B.S.E in art education focusing on 3d and ceramics. Since then I have published the Jesie s Pottery website, taught clay courses for elementary students, tutored people in the community, and substitute taught. In February of 2014 I picked up my passport and flew off to the UK! I started an internship at Fursbreck Pottery in Orkney. My time was spent studying prehistoric pottery, making work, and learning more about the trade from master potter and author Andrew Appleby. It was an unforgettable experience.
I have been stateside for a while now enjoying the many opportunities that have come my way! I have made mugs for White Pine Coffee Company and The Harvest Coffeehouse. I produce work for retail at several business, and continuously work on improving my own studio. I am also a full time Art instructor for community programs at Gallery 194 in Lapeer as well as community programs in Frankenmuth, Michigan. I am also the art teacher at Ganiard Elementary in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
I’m not sure how this journey will end, but I know that along the way I will be living, breathing, learning, and teaching ceramics.
In the meantime....
Travel. Whether it is to the next city over or the country across the sea.
Never stop learning. Pick up a book, talk to someone interesting, or start a new hobby.
Eat as many chocolate kissed strawberries as you can get your hands on!
Spend an afternoon by the sea.
Visit a library.
Surround yourself with good friends, good food, and good pottery!