After graduate school, I enrolled in pottery classes in the Boston area and continued to develop my skills over the last two decades., I work in my home studio to create functional pieces intended for daily use. I participate in local events as an opportunity to see how people respond to my work. These conversations generate new ideas and challenges for me.
Pottery provides the perfect distraction during the pandemic. Csikszentmihalyi (1992), describes a flow state, when cognitive and physical efforts are integrated through a creative process. This state can promote a distorted sense of time, and limit room to think about anything else. Pottery is particularly amenable to flow as it requires a high degree of focus and there are endless challenges and new skills to develop. Csikszentmihalyi suggests that flow is optimal when a person’s skill allows for you to keep mastering the challenge and when the feedback is unambiguous. This idea aligns with my drive to keep trying new forms and designs, rather than meticulously perfecting my work.
Although I do occasionally produce decorative items, I prefer to focus on functional wares that are integrated into daily life.