IMG_6121Age: 41

Job: Home School Teacher for Inspire Charter Schools

Instagram: @aliandjoel

Creative Expression: pottery

Creative Space: pottery shed

How did you get into pottery?

I have always been internally motivated to make things beautiful and make beautiful things. About ten years ago, I took a Parks & Rec pottery class with several of my friends and learned the basics of pottery making. I really enjoyed the challenge and wished I could do more, but an eight week class was the most I could work into my schedule with three small kids at home. Then a few years ago someone gifted me an old Cress kiln. At the time I had a side job which provided me a bit of cash to invest in other pottery supplies. I found an old used wheel on Craig’s List that came from the UCSB pottery studio. I ordered some glazes, tools, and clay. I set up my new gear in a corner of our garage and with the help of YouTube I started teaching myself. With my laptop next to my wheel I would watch a potter center his clay, hit pause and try it myself. I slowly improved and began to turn out some passable items that I gave away as family Christmas presents. 


How have you made space for your pottery?

Two years ago we moved a half mile up our street to a house that we fell in love for two reasons: a large private yard where we can garden to our hearts’ content, and a detached garage in the back that was just crying out to be turned into an art studio. Now I have a space where everything is ready and waiting for me to come and be creative. I don’t have to set up and tear down gear like I did in my old garage, which makes a huge difference in how often I am able to make pottery. 

How do you make it an important aspect of your life?

It’s summer vacation, which means more time! With my endless pictures of inspiration pieces from all over, I have a feeling this month will be a great time to create some beautiful things! Next school year I plan to set aside time in our school day on Fridays to let my sons try their hand at pottery as well as other artistic endeavors. 


Are there other areas of your life where you exercise creativity?

Pottery is just one way that I enjoy being creative. I love gardening with my husband and making our modest sized neighborhood lot as productive and beautiful as possible. We almost exclusively plant edible plants and find satisfaction in making the functional aesthetically pleasing.