I started teaching small and private classes at Liberty Arts in 2018 with limited supplies and no heating or air conditioning. Creativity has been key to make the space an inviting one for students.
Since then the studio has grown to eight wheels, three electric kilns, and a Raku kiln. I now offer three classes every six weeks, studio assistantships, open studio sessions, Raku workshops, and visiting artist classes. In addition I’ve worked to gather materials and supplies to build a wood fired kiln. While there’s still no heating or AC, I’ve kept the dream alive.
It’s hard to dream big. Before I became a full-time potter I was terrified that even selling pottery wouldn’t work, but I kept going and showed up at markets to make it work. After joining Liberty Arts, the idea of an entire pottery studio was a gamble that I feared wouldn’t pay off. Slowly but surely, the students I’ve had made the studio dream come alive. Having the faith in your own dreams and the courage to do the work that brings them to fruition still scares me, but I’ve learned to keep going.
When I envision my dream studio I think of the book The Secret Garden. I want everything to be a revitalizing experience. From driving up to the building, to the actual studio space, its about taking what life hands me and turning it into something that thrives. My dream studio would be a two-story, climate controlled barn on open land. I envision a home for wood kilns, workshops, pottery and hand-building classes. I see myself with visiting artists, and studio assistants that help others make their own pottery dreams come true. An artist community where ideas are shared crafts refined in casual conversation, or long days of hard work.
Its a big dream, but you have to start big. Working backwards from that dream the next step I’m working towards is a climate controlled space that is about twice the size of my current situation. Currently the 1,200 sq ft studio is bursting at the seams and the winter and summer months still present a challenge. As I move forward I’ll continue saving, planning and working to make this next step in the dream come true.