I have been asked “what statement am I trying to make in my art, and the answer is, “I don’t have one specific statement”. We all have several layers of ourselves and I am “peeling” back one layer at a time through my art.
I have tried to have a “plan” before I begin a piece, but I am more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of person. One thing I can guarantee, is my art is always evolving and no two will ever be the same; even my so called “Functional” pieces have some alterations to them, I like to make sure every piece has a distinct personality to it, so it will speak to the unique individual who acquires it.
Mother Nature is my primary Inspiration; she has provided me with an incredible supply of clay, it is such a forgiving and yet a temperamental medium that pushes me, as an artist. Clay allows me to create various designs, add textures, carve or even add multiple layers into the design.
I have always dabbled in the arts, using many different mediums, such as acrylics, water colors and pastels; however, once I began using Clay I found the perfect artistic expression for me.
Gypsy Potter Studio’s ~ what an odd name for a business, Right? Well, not for me; you see, I have moved so many times I think we are losing track… I thought it was 32, but we are closer to 40 (so my children tell me!) ~ Crazy!
It is easy to say it was due to jobs, but that isn’t entirely accurate. I used jobs as an excuse, but honestly, I was searching for something; however, the something really turned out to be someone… Me! I was searching for my authentic self and what place I truly take in this life… beyond being a daughter, sister, wife, mother… who was I really? I didn’t even know what the question was, never mind what the answer is.
Curtis (my husband) and I have been through a lot in our marriage, but we have always stayed very strong with our love and respect towards each other, for this I am very grateful. Curtis has always given me the freedom to “find my way”; which has taken us to many locations over the years. We did live in one location in Southern Ontario for 6 years… but… again, we were tested… in 13 months we had 3 floods, 1 fire, I lost my job, had to go for major surgery, than Curtis loss his job!!! That was one heck of a TEST! It was at this time we decided to sell the house and move back home to Northern Ontario, also, we were almost “empty nesters”, our son was living on his own and our daughter was in her second year of high school.
Moving back to Northern Ontario was a good decision, but I was a bit nervous; little did I know, at the time, that it would be the best decision we made… Don’t get me wrong, the “search” was not over by any means… but I was closer to finding “it”.
Blind River was my home town, and that was our first location upon our return to Northern Ontario; however, it wasn’t our last… the reason for leaving Blind River and to relocate to Sudbury was actually for jobs this time… for real. (But) Once again I was getting that all too familiar feeling that this wasn’t going to work for me and I was looking for jobs in other locations… Bermuda to be exact… I was offered a job too... but, 2 weeks before I was supposed to relocate, immigration denied my work visa because they wanted a local to have the job; which I totally respect… but at the same time, I was very disappointed to say the least.
Now what? Still not happy, still searching for a way out… I told Curtis; “I need to get back to my art”… I found a place where I could take a pottery course. Sudbury Basin Potters; its local, and I wanted to give it a try. Curtis encouraged me to “check it out”, so I did… it was an introduction to Hand building with Heather Topp. I have to say that Heather is a wonderful teacher, but I “SUCKED” at the hand building course. I was fascinated with the potter’s wheel, but no one was giving lessons at that time… but that didn’t stop me from begging other members to teach me… finally someone gave into my incisive begging… Gerard Carrier. I took 3 lessons on the wheel with him and that was it… I was HOOKED!
My 40th birthday was fast approaching and I was asked what I would like for my birthday? A potter’s wheel was my answer… At the time we were living in a small 3 bedroom apartment, with no where to put a Potter’s wheel, but, I made it work, We didn’t use the dining room table to eat at, so we removed the table and replaced it with the potter’s wheel.
FINALLY, I found what I was searching for… you would think it was pottery, but really it was ME… I found me… in clay… through molding the clay into anything I wanted, I was able to center myself and most important, realize what I wanted to do, this was and still is priceless to me. After only 3 lessons and endless hours on the wheel I was self-taught, making a lot of ashtrays… believe me ashtrays were not what I was trying to make.