“I think the arts community in Goshen is amazing, especially for a small midwestern town. I have never lived outside of the Midwest. I mean, I’ve traveled, but this community seems unusual, in a great way. As a teacher, I love it for my students. I can say we live in this great town and you can go here and see this and do that. Justin Rothshank has come into my class or we’ve gone to Mark Goertzen’s studio. It’s a community that’s just rich with people who are willing to share and help each other out with things, and that’s just great to me.
Most of my pieces are hand-built, so I do a lot of pinching, slab work, and some coil stuff. For a long time, I felt like I wasn’t a legitimate ceramics artist because I wasn’t throwing stuff on the wheel. But I’ve found that even though I can throw, I just really enjoy building more. I’ve taken workshops for the last couple of summers with some women who work a lot with red clay and hand-building, and I’ve loved all of them. I love cooking and gardening and I think a lot of my work is centered around those, so I do vases and small plates, and small serving pieces.
It’s amazing realizing that people like something that you made. They appreciate it or like it enough that they want to buy it and use it. And there’s always just a little bit of ‘Oh wow, it’s not just my mom!’ who likes everything that I do, but someone who doesn’t even know me wants to buy this cup and use it. I mean, you make this stuff because you love doing it and the process, and then to realize that someone else really likes it is just a great feeling.”