The journey up to this point has been convoluted. Never took any interest in art till I saw a friend throw a pot in college back in the mid '70s. I changed my major from political science to crafts in BFA degree. Took ceramics 101 and 102, sculpture, and various other art classes. I quit college after 3 years and took off to be a carpenter in Virginia Beach, VA.
After 7 years of carpentry, I cut off half of my left thumb, so back to school. I was going to get a commercial design degree. A friend told me take a data processing course. I took "Intro to DP" and fell in love with it. Got a BBA degree with majors in Computer Information Systems and Accounting in 1984. Been programming ever since, which is creative in its own right.
In 2007 I was working in the same town as my college. I audited the ceramics 101 course at night just to see if I still had it. Boy did I ever have it. It was as if I had never quit. I could throw but knew diddly about glazes. I gutted my office, which was in a detached out building, and made it into a studio. (I have been working from the house since 1995.) Only bad thing is, the pottery completely consumed me. I couldn't concentrate on programming thinking only about pottery. My left brain and right brain were having a struggle for which would dominate.
In 2008, I quit pottery, again, but always had a yearning to get back in the studio. This past February, 2014, I went out there. The throwing quickly came back, but still knew diddly about glazes. That is when I discovered Tony Hansen's DigitalFire website and the Insight glaze software. I had never taken chemistry in high school nor in college. Huge learning curve.
With the software as my tool I copied glazes I liked and put them in the software. Then I decided, after reading about the potential problems with Gerstley Borate, to change all recipes over to Boraq. Now, any new recipes I run across with GB, I create a test batch with GB, for a base reference, then I convert it to Boraq and start testing.
The left and right sides of the brain are still struggling, but I have it somewhat under control. The thing about pottery, as you all know, is the timing of your pieces while in production. I throw at night then sometimes must trim or attach early in the morning before the workday. Then also do some quick things during lunch hour. Then at night finish up the pieces or throw some new ones to start the process all over again.
My experience with objects I have made makes me realize it is not just about the form but how a person can use the form. Does the form fit well in the hand, or on the lips. This is the challenge now with creating functional ware.
My only regret is I wish I had stayed with it back in the '70s and tried to make a living at pottery. I lost 30 years of pottery. I guess that is why it consumes me now - I am on the downward curve of life and have had this creativity subdued for so long - just can't hold it back any longer.
Pottery makes me feel alive and like a kid again. Maybe its the conquest. Maybe its the need to touch what I have created, as opposed to it being virtual like a software program. Either way, I am consumed by pottery and love every minute of it.