I am a ceramicist, a teacher, and a mom. I am fortunate to share what I am passionate about with some pretty amazing high school students. My students teach me about snapchat and popular music, and I teach them about sgraffito, s-cracks, and the importance of pursuing a life of passion and service. When I am home, my husband and I watch our little boy run and play and we wonder how he has grown so quickly. And when I am not teaching or chasing after my son, I make pots. I relish the time spent alone with clay and NPR. It feels indulgent and delicious when, as a mom and a teacher, my full attention is on 100 things all at once for so much of every day.
As a ceramicist, I like to explore themes like collections and nostalgia in my work. When I was a child, I told people that I wanted to be an archaeologist when I grow up. I thought that archaeologists did things like explore old abandoned farm houses and take samples of wallpaper and journal entries like detectives. I think I’ve always been attached to personal narratives. When my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, my family kept a hand-held voice recorder on hand at family gatherings in case he decided to share a fleeting memory about his childhood spent on a farm in northern Wisconsin. I inherited all of the family photo albums and snippets from newspaper wedding announcements, high school diplomas, childhood doodles that have turned brown and tattered over so many years. I feel inadequate with my charge as the keeper of histories. Sometimes one story gets confused with another and the names escape me. But the memories are markers of time. The events that shaped my grandfathers also shaped me. There is a similar rhythm with the act of making. The marks in clay are markers in time and place. Clay keeps records, like detective archaeologists. My work speaks to a longing for the past and sometimes expresses the aches of forgetting.