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My aunt who has done our family tree claims we are distantly related to rembrandt.  - put that in your pipe and smoke it! LOL!!! (insert sarcasm here) 


I forgot to add - 

my dad is a talented artist, my uncle is an artist (western art, montelious burzynski ) my great uncle is an artist, my late aunt is an artist, my cousin is an art professor who teaches anatomy art, and there are more. We call it "the gene" in our family but even a gene needs practice.

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Trying to think if either of my brothers are artistic and one works for a crop dusting company that builds special built million dollar choppers. My other brother is special needs but has never shown,

Long story. My great grandmother was an Austin-as in Austin cars-Austin -Healy, Austin Cambridge. She was a millionare-her family was that is. She fell in love with the gardener and was disowned. So w

This one was actually a little hard for me to answer. I don't want it to sound like a therapy session. I have had a sometimes bizarre combination of unconditional acceptance for who I am, and a nev

Dad was an engineer when I was growing up. Mom is a very analytical person. No real artistic demonstrations.

But, they 100% support me in my artistic pursuits. Well...almost.

In college I was an English major thinking of writing poetry for a living. I brought that concept to my dad and I think he saw me living at home forever so he said, "you can write on the weekend. Go into Marketing and use that talent there." He was right. You have to pay the bills.


My wonderful, amazing wife pushed me into the muddy sciences and has been my ultimate supporter ever since she sat me down at the wheel while I kept her company in the studio at school. It wasn't long before I was throwing taller pots than the rest of her class. She even had to cheat once after her assignment blew up and used one of my pieces to pass the assignment. Since then she's been my second set of eyes and even has kept me from putting the initial hammer to a piece I wasn't totally satisfied. She is generally right and keeps pushing me. In addition to her I have other friends who are artists who inspire me to keep moving forward.


So I guess you would have to say I am a product of self-generated environment. If that makes sense.


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Giselle, sounds like your father and I have similar backgrounds. Just retiring from contracting after 42 years, took up crystalline glaze/clay five years ago. My great grandmother was a poet, and the rest of my family specialized in paint by number portraits. I can remember from a child being aware of space, length, depth, and dimension. So naturally I took four years of architectural drafting in my learning years, I love the old stone architecture of eras gone by, the stained glass windows of the 18-19th centuries. I do not consider myself an artist, but I have a good eye and a long standing admiration for the arts.


So I turned my eye into distorting perceptions. Changing angles, distorting depth, and altering the natural line the human eye travels. Most of the geometric tile lines that I am getting ready to introduce later this year have 3 to 5 pieces that make up the pattern. Looking straight at them they have one appearance, turn 30 degrees they have another, and stand at 90 degrees- yet another. So I guess my artistic gift is the ability to distort space. My other talent is taking on complicated problems that others tend to shy away from. I think that is the reason I primarily focus on crystalline glaze- but I also play with temmoku and avertine. My mother swears to this day that I put together a small jig saw puzzle at the age of two. I swear to this day that she has long suffered from maternal bias.


Glaze Nerd

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I started in college wanting to do "Industrial Design". Small CC in PA figured that meant lots of math and science prep! Oh well, could not really afford to go where the schools were for the study so was in math and science. After meeting my future wife and her transferring to a teaching college in Northern PA, I followed and applied to the art department. Portfolio was lousy, but they accepted me under probation. 2.5 years later I had a degree, and 9 months later started teaching at a large HS in central PA. 36 years later, retired.


About 10 years after I started teaching, with low salaries and other money problems we had, 2 kids and such. My Mom asked me if I was really happy teaching. My reply was that I was happy as could be, but was only teaching because I was teaching Art. She understood that, but I think over the years they had expected me to be something else, and felt let down because I wasn't. At the same time my grandmother on her side thought I should have been a preacher. I told her once I was, but just not about God. Funny how others expectations can make you double think your path in life. I never really had a plan, just too one branch of  the road after another until I got to where I am today. Maybe more like a famous movie character who said "Roads, who needs Roads!"




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We had a great art program at the public schools I attended, from primary through to high school. I ended up in another field but art was my first love, esp. clay. Now I'm back at it again. In addition to a good art program in school, my next door neighbour was a painter and as a small child I used to sit quietly on his back porch and watch him paint  landscapes from photographs and I guess he had patience as he was also a primary school principal. In high school we had field trips to art galleries & museums including the Detroit Institute of Arts, trips on the train to Stratford,  & even a visiting Rodin show at a gallery right next to the school! So I guess my vote is "environment".

My could have, should have, etc regret? Should have just taken art in university and headed into that field-period.

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detroit institute of arts...................sigh also Cranbrook, belle isle park with it's marble fountains, east and west grand boulevards, hudson's department store with its amazing pewabic tiles everywhere, most of the older office buildings in downtown detroit had beautiful tilework and all of the mansions along woodward and the boulevards with their stained glass and tiled fireplaces..................... i guess it was environment.

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