I received my BA in Art History at Winthrop University where I managed to not take a single ceramics class. When I first put my hands to clay at a workshop for those with absolutely no experience, I was instantly hooked, and I began learning wheel-throwing and glaze chemistry from Kristen Swanson of White House Ceramic Studios in Lovettsville.
A few years after that first experience with clay, I graduated to my own studio and started Firebird Ceramics. In 2014, a few like-minded friends and I founded Loudoun Empty Bowls, a non-profit that brings together artists and the community to raise money and awareness to fight hunger in Loudoun County.
The foundation of my work is in the pursuit of functionality. I define functionality as not only specific utilitarian purpose, but also ease of use, practicality, and integration into daily life. This is manifested in the capacity and weight of a baking dish, the freedom to put a mug in the dishwasher and microwave, the tactile experience of the carved design, the chime of a lid as it’s removed from a jar, the color of the glaze. Then, in this way, the decorative aspect of my work becomes part of the function — even when a piece is not in use, it still has purpose and place.
I am still awestruck by the magic of holding in one’s hand beauty made from mud and fire.