When I was five years old somebody asked me "what do you
want to be when you grow up?" I answered without hesitation:
An Artist.
When I first envisioned our farm business back in 1999, I named it
The Lavender Fleece Farm & Studio because I knew
that someday art would become a vital part of our business too.
How did I know this? Because I've always been an artist, even if I
wasn't at that moment, involved in "making" art.
The Beginning
This 18" high stoneware "coil" pot is featured here because it is the very
first piece of pottery that I ever made. I was 15 years old and took my
first pottery class in high school. David Morrison (Dow High School,
Midland, Michigan) was my instructor and under his tutelage that year,
I found my "niche." He showed us how to make coils and instead of the
small ashtrays or bowls that most students make their first time with
clay, I constructed the above pot. My mother still has it. And after all
these years, I find it a very nice piece. I knew I was really hooked on
clay when I started to dream about their forms. The second large coil
pot I made (which came to me in a dream), was taller than this one,
with a wider, shorter base and a longer neck. Our neighbors bought it
for $25. The following year my family moved to Petoskey (Michigan)
when my father was transferred with Michigan Bell Telephone. When
David found out I was moving, he phoned a former teaching colleague,
Todd Warner and asked Todd if he could take me under his wing. Todd
was and still is a very well known sculptor, and I was lucky to work in
his studio in Charlevoix for several years until my university years took
me on another path. While working for Todd, I learned how to do
production wheel throwing, glazing, firing and also much of the
"business" of a potter's studio.
At right is my "ram" bell that Todd
made for me in 2010. He is making
limited numbers of bells again in the
tradition of his "beginnings."
Visit
Todd's website by clicking here. If you
don't find information about the bells,
be sure to email or call the gallery to
find out what is currently in stock.