I don’t remember throwing my first pot, or why I decided to take a ceramics class in high school. It was an unlikely choice for a nerd such as myself, but it was also the late ‘60s and I must have felt the pressure to do something different. Clay entranced me and led me to continue. I spent the next 5 years exploring throwing functional ware and admiring production potters, imagining myself to be the village potter of some long ago time. But eventually I listened to my dad. His mantra was “There are vocations and avocations”. Pottery did not count towards the former. Instead I became a dietitian, studying my other favorite topic, which was food. Being an RD (Registered Dietitian) has served me well, and I have often thought of developing a line of dishes called “Nancy’s Diet Dishes” which would teach people about more rational portion sizes!
In 2002, I returned to making pottery, my dad being long gone. I know I will spend the rest of my life playing with clay. For me, clay satisfies almost every aspect of my character and interests. I can imagine myself the primitive village potter, filling one of man’s most basic needs, while at the same time exploring the latest technology in kiln design or pursuing my interest in chemistry by creating a new glaze. I can interact with an outgoing, earthy group of potters as we communally fire the wood kiln, or spend solitary time in my studio. I can study everything from geology to cookware design. What other vocation, or even avocation, has so much to offer?