What did you first start making?
Mugs and cups. At the beginning, they seemed a little bit more accessible for me and my skill level, but as I pursued my learning, I realized that they are very challenging. There are so many details I didn’t see at first.
You sell your pottery at both Craft Cville and the Charlottesville City Market. Do you enjoy going to the markets, and have you been able to meet other artisans through being a vendor?
I feel like Charlottesville is a very supportive community, and I’ve made connections through the markets. I would say that my long-term vision is to have a stronger mailing list. We live in a place with historical importance from the 1700’s, and I would hope that eventually people would come to us and that I can plan some events at my home. I live an hour and a half from Charlottesville. It’s a big deal coming here and bringing all these things—it’s not easy. I have been trying to be constant in coming here.
Do people buy your pottery online?
Yes, a little bit. But there is something about selling pots in person and connecting with people. It’s important to me, especially because I live in a secluded, rural area. Like, I remember you when you came and bought my teapot, and now you are here, and that can go even further. It’s nice to listen to people’s feedback and see their reaction to the pots. It’s a very important part of the process. Without that, it wouldn’t be complete for me.
I read on your website that you also like yoga and permaculture. Can you tell me more about that?
I started yoga when I was 18 years old. I feel like it really helps my body. As a potter, you are always leaning forward. It helps you to maintain your body longer. I would love to be making pots in my 80’s and 90’s. Yoga brings a lot of benefits for the mind as well, having a constant practice. I would say it has so many similarities to pottery, like when you are throwing a pot. You touch a moment of stillness and connection.
For permaculture, I also started very young. I took some classes, and that enthusiasm for this took me to Findhorn where I lived for almost five years. It makes your life more efficient. Permaculture really relates to my life in the studio. I like to make pots in a progression, in a series, because you have one and you think about it and you see something that needs to be changed. It helps to look at the previous one that you made.
Everything in the studio has a routine and a cycle. There are so many things that are applicable. To run a studio efficiently, you could apply some of the principles of designing permaculture, but also the ethics of permaculture are really important to me. Caring for the land is huge. I work with the Earth; it’s our mother. It is the most giving, beautiful thing that I see. It’s super important that my practices in the studio are environmentally friendly. You can do little things on your own that are important.
There are things that have been really important to me that I still apply in my craft and in my way of living. Every day we have an opportunity to say how we want to live. For me, growing a garden is very important as a way of doing something for the world. It makes me feel good about how I live.