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Lesley B.

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  1. Thank you both for your thoughtful replies. I suspect that what I really crave is the immersion and confidence a degree would offer. But at this stage in my life, going down that path is pretty impractical. I think I'm going to have to strive to create that same immersion for myself, piecemeal. And Stephen, thanks especially for reminding me that I stepped on this path over a decade ago. I've been thinking more about where I want to go than where I've come, and both are important.
  2. I have made my living as an actor since 1994, and have been making functional pottery for my own use as a side passion since 2000. But recently I have been withdrawing from my life as an actor and have been thinking seriously about a life in clay. Or at least a supplemental life in clay (an actor's life is made up of supplements). At 40, I can no longer deny my passion for ceramics. I think about it constantly, spend hours online pouring over youtube videos and Ceramics Arts Daily. I'm giddy and obsessed and it feels like I"m having an affair with someone else's career. But I'm 40! I have a husband! a toddler! responsibilities! So here is my question: How has having or not having a formal education in clay enriched or hindered your life as a professional potter? This is what I think one gets from a degree: Confidence (twelve years of throwing and I still hesitate to call myself a potter. What's that about?) Technical proficiency Discipline My voice as an artist Meanwhile, I already throw at a large, fantastic studio, rich with teachers, seasoned potters and an ever changing class schedule. Very interested in your input and in the paths you took to making a life in clay. Thanks in advance!