My husband and I have owned and operated Mountain Home Floral Co. in Mountain Home for 19 years. I have been a floral designer for 36 years. (Really doesn't seem like that long!) I have a son and two daughters and two granddaughters. I started taking pottery classes six years ago, because one of the things I had always wanted to learn was how to throw clay on a potter’s wheel. Well, little did I know it would become a new passion in my life. Not only did I learn to throw clay, but I learned to hand-build with clay, which opened up a whole new world of form and design. Three years ago my instructor and mentor asked me to collaborate on a project with her and another clay artist and that has grown into another business venture for me. I am very passionate about clay and I can’t stop myself.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My husband will tell you that I never stop creating things! I love to sew, knit, crochet, and make soap. I'm also learning how to make cheese. (If only we had room for a cow or maybe a goat.) Before I got into clay, I took cake decorating classes, now that is fun and yummy, but my family would cringe when they saw me coming with another cake! They were all gaining weight. Now they have to add extra support to their cabinet shelves to hold up all the stoneware pottery I have gifted them with. So they gained weight in a different way.
If I see some cute or interesting thing I have to figure out how to make it.
I do enjoy reading and watching movies (while I knit or crochet) and going on hikes in the woods with my husband. We live in one of the most beautiful states and I never tire of making day trips to go on hikes.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
“There’s Always One More Thing to Learn” I am a perpetual student, when we stop learning, we stop living.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am inspired by nature. There is no greater artist than God.
What does handmade mean to you?
To me, handmade means taking something and changing it in to something else.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
The person who has influenced me the most in my craft is Deborah Mitchell, my clay instructor, mentor and friend. She has been very generous with her knowledge and encouraging with her critique of my work.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I guess I have always been an artist. When I was young I loved to paint and draw and make things with whatever was on hand. I started working in flower shops when I was 16 and that gave me another outlet for my creative side.
With clay you can have an idea of where you want to go, but you need to let the clay lead you as well. It’s good to be flexible when working in clay. My favorite saying is “I meant to do that!” Thing usually turn out better than my original plan.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
I am fascinated with Glass Blowing. I would love to give that a try! I would love to watch just how to go about making a gob of molten glass transform into a beautiful work of art.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
I have a number crocheted Afghans made by my Mother that I love. Every time I wrap up in one I can feel her giving me a hug. I cover my granddaughters when they come to visit, in ones that she made for my daughter when she was a baby. Mom passed away thirteen years ago.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I switch gears and do something different. Take a walk and really look around. Or if I’m really in a rut I clean the studio, that does it everytime!
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I would like to still be working in clay in ten years. Making the majority of my income from the sale of my pieces. I would like to be able to travel more and see places I have never been before.