“It started out being sort of production-oriented, and it’s becoming more and more one of a kind as time is going along. Whereas I used to make a lot of mugs at one time, I’m slowing down a little and paying a little more attention to each piece as it goes along. I just started soda firing work about two or three years ago to actually throw me a little off-center in order to start learning again. I needed something new to freshen things up. Trying a firing style, I didn’t know anything about really, really helped with that. Because of that, I’m feeling like there are new forms in the wood kiln in the studio here. It was very rewarding and sometimes frustrating.
I only expected to be here a year. I came here to Goshen in 1989 to work with Dick Lehman in the studio that I’ve now bought from him. I came up for a year, walked in, and it was about what I imagined my own studio being. There was a lot of utilitarian ware – I was interested in making that work – but also some one-of-a-kind stuff that could be sort of quote-unquote art pieces. Then Dick became a friend, and it became less and less feasible to move on. I started finding things to do in the area. Goshen, at that point, started reviving. It was really fun to see it go from somewhat of a dead downtown to something thriving. The Old Bag Factory was in its heyday then, too. A lot of tourists were coming through. It was just a fun place to be.
I’m located at the Old Bag Factory, 1100 N. Chicago Ave., Goshen. The hours here are 9 to 5 Monday through Friday and 9 to 4 Saturday. Dick started this shop here in 1984, and the building has grown ever since. It’s been a nice place to work. Plenty of space. Lots of pots to see, including from a lot of the tour participants as well. I would say that about 75 percent of the showroom is my work, and the rest is other artists’ work.
I used to take about half my studio and go up north to my home place and set up there. What’s different for this year’s Pottery Tour is I will be open here at the Old Bag Factory normal hours, 9 to 4. I think there are another five artists who are part of the tour who have some pots here you could pick up and see. I also will have a computer available if you wanted to see more of what they’re doing. The tour right now is all online. Each artist is busily putting photos up. It’s not ideal from our standpoint because we love talking with customers, but it’s what we can do this year.”