I have been doing ceramics for 46 years! Gosh, I never really added up the years before. Scary!
My Grandma Ethel Smith, back in South Bend, Indiana, introduced me to ceramics before I started high school.....and you know I became "hooked". We had so much fun together making things. She loved to pour and to make porcelain dolls. When her eyesight failed I had to finish some of her projects, the doll eyes were always a challenge. LOL Grandma :)
After I left home and got married in 1980, my husband and I moved to the Los Angeles area. It was there that I continued on my ceramic education quest and found many of my ceramic "sisters" that I still cherish today.
Anyway, back to my story....after my son (the oldest of my 3 kids) was born, I decided to find a ceramic studio and take a class or two. I was fortunate enough to find and meet another ceramic enthusiast, Helen O'Donnell. She had a home studio not too far from me and I remember sitting around her kitchen table and painting with fond memories. She was a great teacher, had a lot of knowledge and knew several ceramists because of her involvement in a local ceramic association. She influenced me (...told me) that I was going to take the Ceramic Duncan Teachers classes right along beside her! So I did...and I have been an IADCCT member since 1988.
Helen and I along with our other charter members formed Southern Stars in 1990. Helen and I were so charged up after attending our first convention in 1989…learning about all the fun chapters have…we decided immediately to have one of our own. It took a little while to get the Southern Stars Chapter going (we got delayed because of a failed attempt from a past member) but we finally had our first meetings in 1990 and received our very first charter at convention in 1991. It was exciting, and if you attended convention that year, you might remember that I had my brand new daughter, Laura, who was only a little over two weeks old in attendance with us too!
Today, looking back, I have to give credit to my friend, Helen O'Donnell (who departed us too early in 1998), for pushing me to seek more ceramic education. Because of her, I also took the Ceramic Arts Institute Certified Ceramic Teacher course with Ming in 1988. Even though Helen was unable to take the last session, I stayed the course, took that nasty test and passed it along with another student, Aprille Johnson, who became and still is my older sister! And, as they say "the student becomes the Teacher".... AND the rest is history!
Over the years I have been privileged enough to hold many IADCCT Chapter and International elected positions including: Southern Stars President; IADCCT President, Vice President and Secretary; and, am currently serving as the President of the Cyberflyers Chapter. I am also the very thankful and the proud recipient of the following awards: IADCCT Cleo Curtis Award, IADCCT Rosemary Bodenheimer Award, IADCCT President's Award, and the Southern Stars Chapter's Shining Star Award.
It has been my greatest pleasure to pass on my love to ceramics to my girls, Elizabeth and Laura, who are both Duncan Certified. This past November, Elizabeth and I introduced my Granddaughter, Zoey, to ceramics. We created and she gave away "painted feet" snowmen and reindeer for Christmas presents! I'm hoping (and will continue to influence) that one day she along with her little sister, Mary, will graduate from ceramic student to ceramic teacher and continue on with what has now become another family tradition.
Lake Wales, FL 33898
PH 863-874-0MUD (863-874-0683)
· Basics to advanced level Fired Arts Instructor
· Duncan product knowledge
· Earthenware, Stoneware, Raku
· Handbuilding, slab, casting
· Sculpture, clay lift, slip trailing
· Electric kiln firing
· Raku kiln firing
· Duncan Ambassador-Certified Duncan Teacher
· Ceramic Arts Institute Certified Teacher
· Mayco Certified
· Stoneware Certifiied
· IADCCT member