My start with pottery was accidentally by design! How does that sound?
I was in 7th grade and the youngest of three " latch key kids"
Both parents worked and my siblings were out of the house.
My mom decided I needed a new hobby, so we drove to the local art center.
On the way there I still weighed my choices between ballet and pottery.
Pottery won by the time we parked and I have not stopped since.
I signed up every 10 weeks. I had good and bad teachers, and one who mentored me and snuck me in on Saturdays during her preschool class for wheel practice.
She told me In no uncertain terms that I only had two options for my college education:
she told me I must either go to Tyler school of Art or to Alfred. Good thing I had no other career aspirations!
I didn't go right to college. I took a year off and worked in fast food service.
Meanwhile I made pots in the basement with the Brent B wheel I am still using 34 years and one belt change later.
I took the pots to a local shop/ gallery to get fired.
I then spent the next year at a local private women's college where i assembled my portfolio and took some liberal arts classes.
The 3 - D department there consisted of one professor.
At the end of my first semester, he announced his sabbatical, which meant no ceramics or sculpture courses,nor access to the studio until he returned.
That was just the incentive I needed to apply to Alfred, and I was accepted.
My journey in and after art school had bumps and detours,and still does. But I've persisted as well as I can.
In "clay college " , there were always the hackneyed arguments circulating under the headings of "art versus craft" , " those who can't do teach" ,and assorted other" isms."
All which were easy prey for my wavering self-confidence and hyperactive mind.
In hind sight,sometimes it seems unfair that it took the wisdom I gained later on from age,and maturity to teach me how pompous, and simply wrong most of those discussions still are.
( in my more self-confident opinion at least!)
As a teaching artist now, I know that teaching art is not a skill every artist has. It is really an art form unto itself. I won't even touch the "fine art versus pottery "topic...yawn and yuck...
I am sure I am preaching to the choir here!
So here I am 28 years post -Alfred and you've probably never seen my work! After all, speaking of isms, who cares about an Alfred alum if they aren't packing an MFA,only a BFA
( kidding - a little bit)
Traditionally, i was the world's worst self- promoter.
Yet, just give me an expensive bottle of 20 year old Barolo riserva back when I waitressed and I could sell the heck out of that, or much later on,supplies to
a young, new art teacher with a big budget, new kiln and no ceramic knowledge...
I did so many art fairs for 10 years, plus several wholesale trade shows from which at one point I had dozens of wholesale accounts.
Then parenting 2 kids,contributions to the mortgage paying, family health scares,
all led me to the necessity of finding a steady pay check.
That was the next 12 years,and sources included teaching artist gigs,followed by 2 jobs in corporate ceramic supply and clay sales.
Now I have come full circle, unemployed ,more health issues which now include mine, and lots of new and rewarding teaching gigs.
Besides getting well, my bucket list includes returning to my studio to produce and promote my own work again,and to have work to show you next time I contribute to a thread!
I am now a huge fan of self- employment. No better company loyalty than oneself!
Did you start with pottery (ceramics) by accident or by design?
How we each "found" clay can likely be an interesting series of stories I bet. I'm guessing there are many convoluted paths leading to each of our kilns.
For myself...... I started out life as a marine zoology major in college. But more on that later........ how about you? Was it is cosmic plan.... or serendipity?