Working with my hands must be genetic; my German ancestors were farmers, wheelwrights, and weavers, emigrating to the United States in the mid 1800’s. My great grandmother did intricate lace making and crocheting, and my grandmother was a skilled knitter and seamstress, making afghans as well as stuffed animals.
I got into ceramics simply because it was something I had always wanted to try. I was immediately drawn to the wheel, turning the clay into things that others would find useful in everyday life. I began to study the work of several functional potters, such as Bernard Leach and Robin Hopper. I became intrigued with ceramic glazes and the profound changes in color that can occur with small changes in the mixture of chemicals.
Right now, my favorite pottery forms are drinking vessels, primarily mugs and steins. I love working with texture to help reveal the complexities and highlights of glazes. Trips to the hardware store, craft store, even walks outside looking for patterns present in nature are sources of inspiration. For less functional ware, I’m drawn to the dramatic raku and horsehair pottery techniques to create unique colors and patterns
Service to others is also prevalent in my family history. My great-great-grandfather was the first Lutheran pastor ordained in the Michigan. In fact, there are four Lutheran pastors in my family, including my great uncle, who joined the ministry after serving as a medic in WWII, and my father, who served several congregations in Ohio.
My pottery reflects my family history in several ways: I sign my work in the traditional Kurrent script to reflect my German heritage; and to honor the altruism in my lineage, I donate 10% of all profits from my work to causes that help end hunger.