To understand how a ten-year-old girl has the confidence, creative abilities, support network, and facilities to successfully pursue a ceramics career, it might be helpful to understand her support system.
In the eighties, a homeless teenager in a notorious neighbourhood with only two years of high school, I was raising myself and my son.
Upon convincing the administration at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario, to accept me as a mature student, I began studying fine arts and fashion design. Eight years later, I graduated both programs with honours. In 1993 juror Pierre Cardin awarded my work with the prestigious Young Designers Award in an annual competition sponsored by AirFrance. The exhibition was held at the Louvre in Paris and led to a work placement in London at Bella Freud‘s design house. The highlight of the experience was definitely getting to chat with her father, renowned painter Lucian Freud, when he would come in to organize lunch dates with Bella.
Returning to Canada, I took a small business course and received a $48,000 start up grant from the government to purchase fashion design equipment from St. Lawrence College. With the equipment I started the Canadian Deesigner's Co-op (CDC), a fashion-design co-op that acted as an incubator for young design businesses. At the same time, I began the Young Artists Of Kingston (Y.A.K.), a seasonal youth arts program that initially acted as a fundraiser for the CDC....