Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, I first found the art of ceramics at Dowling Catholic High School, with art teacher, Teri Breck. I took as many ceramics classes as I could, thinking it would be best to 'get it out of my system' before going to college. Little did I realize that this only deepened my desire to work with clay.
Once at the College of Saint Benedict in Saint Joseph, Minnesota, I began to pursue degrees in Mathematics and Education, yet was still drawn to the ceramics studio. Fate and chance collided in the spring when a spot opened up for a beginning ceramics class the day before the semester began. I was reintroduced to handbuilding by Sam Johnson and soon inspired to coilbuild by Swedish visiting artist, Jennifer Forsberg.
In the fall of 2006, while enrolled in a second ceramics class, I experienced wood firing for the first time, working on shift with Richard Bresnahan at the Johanna Kiln at Saint John's Pottery. I soon fell in love with the rich culture and sense of community that surrounds wood firing and considered changing my major to Art, but chose Environmental Studies instead.
In the spring of 2008, I interned at Jorgenson Pottery, helping build and fire the second and third chambers of JD Jorgenson's wood kiln in Saint Joseph, MN. I was able to get Environmental Studies credit for the internship, a bit of a stretch on paper, but finally able to bridge the gap between (what seemed to be) diverging interests.
By my senior year of college, I was no longer able to fit ceramics in my class schedule, but managed to explore my clay interests through an independent learning project. With the help of fellow student, Joel Cherrico, I fired my work in the salt kiln at St. Ben's, producing the pieces that made up my solo show in the spring of 2009, featuring 'Holes'.
Shortly after graduating, I moved to Berryville, Virginia for a six month internship to assist ceramicist, painter and poet, Nancy Pritchard, in transforming a stone building on a free-range meat farm (previously housing deep freezers) into an art-making workspace. In addition to developing my ceramics work at La Capretta Studio, I also wood fired with local potter Mizue Croswell, and helped Joy Bridy with her kiln building project nearby in West Virginia.
After taking a long winter break in Iowa, I returned to Virginia from April to October 2010 to continue developing my work and the studio. Projects included glaze testing, helping Joy finish and fire her wood kiln, making work for the Berryville Fire House Gallery, and participating in the Clarke County Studio Tour.
Upon returning to Iowa, I have set up shop in Stuart, "Home of 1700 Good Eggs, and a Few Stinkers". Getting the studio up and running continues to be a work in progress, but I'd say we're getting there! With the help of family and friends, I was able to purchase an electric kiln in the spring. Since then, things have been busy-busy, remodeling the building while producing work AND maintaining a 'day job'.