I learned how to throw in the early 70's at Pinecroft Pottery in Aylmer, Ontario. I can still remember how painfully long it took me to be able to consistently centre a piece of clay.
Later that year I signed up for a part-time studies program at Banff School of Fine Art. My teacher was an elderly man who had a big reputation in the pottery world at that time. His name was Carleton Ball, an American potter from Puget Sound, Washington. Carleton taught functionality - jugs that poured well. He was known for his brushwork; mostly circles of oxides painted on top of a glaze. I still have a jug of his in my studio.
I needed to come back to Ontario because my father had passed away. That fall and winter I drove back and forth from Brampton, where I was staying with my mom, to Georgian College in Barrie. I took a course with Roger Kerslake who is still a well known potter. Roger was trained in England. Among other things, he taught me how to make a functional teapot.
In 1977 I started a pottery studio in an old stone stable on the bank of Gleason Brook, near Wiarton, with my husband. I made and sold pots there until 1985. During those years I took many courses in clay and painting. I went back to Banff School of Fine Art on a scholarship to build a large wood-fired kiln with Linda Christianson, a Minnesota potter.
By late fall of 1985 my husband and I separated so I left to work and teach at a private studio in Toronto. I commuted home to Wiarton every weekend. Driving up and down Highway 10 gave me lots of time to think.
The Bruce Peninsula was where I wanted and needed to be. In order to stay here I needed a job that would keep me through the long winter months. I found a job that paid me well enough to purchase my own home and small studio. I worked at that job for over 27 years and made pots in my spare time.
Through my job I became active in human rights and especially equal rights for women. Fundraising, marching, speaking out about equal rights is good work. I am glad that I had that opportunity.
Since my retirement I am able to work longer hours in my beautiful little studio in Wiarton. It is still a pleasure to sit down at my wheel and center a piece of clay.