pottery/ceramics

For me, there has always been something fascinating and magical about pottery — taking products from the earth, combining them in unique ways, and creating something artistic as well as utilitarian.

Pottery speaks directly to what it means to be human. I can imagine early people sitting around a fire, discovering how heat made clay hard and how to shape clay into useful containers. Most importantly, they chose to make pots interesting to look at and a joy to touch by adding color and texture.

My goal is to carefully craft pots, offering people in our “fast-food” society a reason to stop and notice how something looks and feels … Something that slows them down, makes them aware of themselves, and conveys a sense of the spirit of humanity.

I was born and raised in Chicago. I attended Columbia College where I received my BS in Fine Art. Upon graduation I taught preschool, ages 3 and 4, for four years at the McGaw YMCA of Evanston. It was then that I realized I wanted to become an art teacher, so I enrolled in the graduate program at Illinois State University where I received my MS in Art Education and Art Therapy. Upon graduation, I worked in an Alzheimer's unit organizing art activities and therapy groups for one year. In 2004 I started teaching art to grades 9 – 12 at Iroquois West High School in Gilman, Illinois, where I am presently employed. I am in my ninth year of teaching, and recently received national certification. I have also been a member of the Illinois Art Education Association and the National Art Education Association since 1998.

I currently show my paintings at Aroma Cafe in Champaign, Illinois, Beads and Botanicals in Urbana, Illinois, and at Po Boys BBQ restaurant also in Urbana, Illinois. I show my work regularly at Artists Against Aids, and have participated in shows held at Indi Go Gallery, The IMC, and at The Coffeehouse in Normal, Illnois.

MudBugs Pottery began early in 2004 with a sturdy electric wheel, some porcelain clay, and a portable raku kiln. We broadened our reach in 2007 with a small electric kiln almost 50 years old. This allowed us to begin producing enough volume for a limited number of Art Fairs and exhibiting annually. The success of online sales helped us to purchase our first fully-automated kiln in 2009, and Etsy shop moonshine-jug.com has since become a major facet of our business. Our work is also found at Homespun in the Historic Irvington Neighborhood of Indianapolis, Vintage Karma in Tuscola, Illinois, and The Illinois State Artisans Gallery at Rend Lake. As part of our community involvement we regularly contribute to a local HIV Awareness fundraiser and fundraisers for local food banks and soup kitchens.

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