My first experience with clay goes back to 5th grade. Our teacher brought in a potters wheel and let each of us have a turn. I had a fairly decent looking little ashtray in the making until I tried getting overly elaborate - something a beginner with zero knowledge should do... I ended up a hollowed out mess of very wet clay, but my mother loved it (as only a mother could). Now jump ahead almost 40 years... The local college offed a continuing education class in ceramics, so I took that (a couple of times) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Instructor was a little surprised to find that I already had kilns. The thought of ceramics has always been lingering in my mind and I have picked up a couple of used kilns as I ran across them (I think I have 8, in various sizes). Since then, I have retired from the military and was just a few hours shy of getting my BS in Electronics management and had to go back to college to get the last classes in. Since I still hadn't used my GI Bill, I thought I might as well go for a second degree. And lo and behold, I could get a Studio art degree in ceramics! So now I'm in school under the tutelage of Estaban Apodaca learning all I can about ceramics. Might as well toss in the couple of other classes I need to get the first degree, but I'm already in the process of buying a place for a studio/gallery, so I think the first degree will never see the light of day other than to hang on the wall... Still have three semesters before I graduate, but should have the studio all set up by then. Wish me luck!