One evening over dinner Scott told me he was building a potter's wheel for a girl he hoped to date. When that didn't work out, he gave the wheel to me. It was 1975. I was married and studying painting and drawing at the University of Colorado, pursuing my dream of becoming an artist. It was a strange time for me. My friends were all searching, and I also felt as if I would never find my path. So, even though my only exposure to clay had been in an art history class--the figures of Luca della Robbia still dance in my head--I accepted the wheel without reservation.
I set up the wheel in our spare room. l found an old pamphlet at the library on how to make a teapot. Even though I knew nothing about centering or throwing, as soon as I kicked the wheel, put my hands on the clay, and felt it moving under the pressure of my fingers, I knew. I still remember the moment. The afternoon turned to evening and then night and then the next day. The summer flew by, with me at my wheel in a state of bliss.
At the end of summer, I emerged triumphant. I had made a teapot. With pride and certainty, I announced I was going to become a potter. This, of course, begged an obvious question. Just how did one become a potter? I decided to teach myself. I scraped my pennies together and rented an old warehouse. Using the wheel Scott had made as a model, my husband Larry and I built nine more wheels, two tables, and a couple of shelves.
I began to teach myself how to throw by making a pot on one wheel and then moving to the next. Each day I filled the wheels with freshly made pots. On the following day I would come in, remove the pots from the wheels and begin again. In a couple of months the warehouse was full of tiny, lopsided pots and I was happy.
Soon it was time to build a kiln. Since l had never actually seen a kiln, let alone fired one, I had to rely on the library once more. I found a nice picture of a kiln with two chambers. I pinned it up on the wall, counted out the number of bricks l would need, and began hounding used brickyards. After a dozen or so visits to what became my favorite haunt, the brickyard owner agreed to keep a lookout.
SINGLE MOMENTS OF DAILINESS...