How I became a potter-artist

I was recently prompted on social media to share how and why I became a potter-artist... And then proceeded to share so much that I later felt a pinch of uncertainty – a bit of regret that perhaps I had "over-shared" – and who cares about my story anyway?

When I checked back on the post later, I had so many comments from people telling me about their own paths toward lives of creative adventure. So many, like me, who found their way toward a more creative life in mid-life or later.

Before I even touched clay for the first time, I had a well-established career in business as the owner of a design and marketing firm. I was married with a busy family – and life was full, too full, it was bubbling up and over – with not a minute to do anything except the thing in front of me.

Over-extended, burned out and at a loss about what to do to "fix" things, I sought counseling – and that eventually led to nurturing a long-ignored longing toward art and craft.

My first years in clay were as a hobbyist, balancing college classes with work and family life. Then came week-long intensives at craft centers such as Arrowmont and Mendocino. ⁣

Mike, although perplexed at first, followed along with all of the changes. I'll never forget the birthday gift of a pottery wheel, and weekends we spent converting a storage shed in our backyard into my first home studio.

After moving to Cambria on California's central coast 15 years ago, I established a gallery with connected studio on the town's Main Street. Two years ago, I closed it and we created a home studio.

I am grateful every day for all of you who have encouraged and supported me on this journey. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The first picture is me in my first home studio 21 years ago, balancing grandson Jacob on the wheel. The second is my sister, Sharon, and me when we closed the office building and posed with marketing awards before taking them to the recycler! Last picture is my "throwing studio" in a converted greenhouse in our backyard.

Patty with Jake on the pottery wheel.