Beginning my work at Rovin Ceramics over two years ago with essentially no experience whatsoever, I entered into a magical world filled with terminology like bats and shivering. My assumption was that we had a pest problem and a poorly heated warehouse. Only the second assumption was correct and required a warm knitted scarf my sister made me from December through March.
I had no idea how intricate and interesting the world of ceramics was until I jumped in feet first. I memorized facts and soaked up as much information as I could from my boss, Nawal, and my predecessor, Stephanie. I read books like The Ceramic Spectrum and learned from mistakes that occasionally occurred. But what I craved was the experience. That spattery, spinning and sometimes frustrating time spent hunched over hoping that my hands could produce something the likes of Luci Rei or Bernard Leach. Hey, a girl can dream. I was fortunate to have two proficient potters, Julia and Alyssa, at my finger tips to help guide me on the grog-filled path of throwing stoneware.
It all finally clicked when I successfully wedged my first, well let’s be honest 10th, lump of RO-75 white stoneware, chucked it onto a bat, slid my stool up nice and tight, got my hands wet, and produced a sloppy, hot-mess on the wheel. It was a three-inch tall “bowl” with uneven sides and a thick bottom. Something only my mother would be proud of and display next to the pinch I made in 3rd grade. That satisfaction however of feeling the clay stop struggling against me as it became centered and not flopping over when I made my last pull up the sides was all I needed. I had been bitten by the ceramics bug.