I use two different clay bodies in my work, both from Laguna Clay Co. #80 which is a brown and #65 which is off white. I choose to keep these two because they both offer different results with the same glazes. I have a mixture of commercial glaze and glazes that my Dad has mixed up. I really enjoy experimenting and trying new techniques to get a desired look. My work is ever evolving but my go to is a mug! Check out my IGTV where I have some videos dedicated to my efficiency processes. You can also follow me on pinterest where I keep all my inspo and studio hacks.
I was born of potters, raised on salt glazed dollars. We traveled to art shows and sold our wares, me and my little sis both had our jobs. Shows would take us around the country, PA, MD, NJ, FL, CO and of course our home state Ohio. We had it down to a science and I learned so much by watching my parents work in this way, I was involved in the family biz from a young age. Their studio was a large green pole building, I can still remember playing in there, making little pins to sell. Seeing mom and dad on their wheels, making sure I didn't knock anything over. That type of rearing doesn't wear off!! Make stuff & sell it was in my genes, mud in my blood.
It wasn't until I was about 30 yrs old that I reconnected with that part of me, the muddy part. At that time I was working as a Montessori preschool teacher and making herbal teas/bread on the side to sell at local markets. I started selling at a local store, Ohio state of mind, owned by Becky Lowe of Liberty Pottery. The store and studio were housed in an old township building located in the historic Roscoe Village. The studio was on the canal level and the walls were thick sandstone, built approx 1860, you could feel the history in the walls. I mentioned to Becky one day that if she needed help in the pottery to give me a call, she knew my parents from art shows. Months later she wrote me a note, "Call me, I need help in the studio". The rest is history! I learned right there in the basement of that building, I went from handle attacher to potter's assistant and operations manager of the studio. I did everything from make up clay balls, mix glaze, paint mugs, handle mugs, load, unload, deliver, keep track of inventory, reorder supplies, etc. It was the best way to learn in my opinion!! I was thrown in and had to figure it out for myself. I worked there for 2 and half years until it all came crashing down. My boss/mentor and most importantly friend suddenly passed away in February of 2016. Me and my coworkers finished the approx. 300+ mugs that were outstanding, all with tears in our eyes. It was the most heart wrenching work. At the time I could throw but not nearly as fast or as good as my mentor had. It was a struggle. But I had to finish the work, it was part of the grieving process for me. After all outstanding orders were complete Liberty Pottery closed it's doors. I bought the studio equipment and moved it into my basement, the beginning of Hillbippie Clay Co. I decided to go for it, Becky would have wanted me to continue and at that point I had the skill and the moxy to jump in with both feet. My husband and family were extremely supportive and here I am today. I hope you enjoyed this little background and I hope it comes through that clay is more than mud to me. It's a unifier, a connector, an immersive medium that transcends linear time. It's all part of the process, enjoy :)