I remember the day when my journey with clay began at age five.It was a sunny day as I played alone in the red earth behind our apartment.I became really curious to taste the sun kissed earth.The moment I put the earth to my lips, my senses sprang awake.I became aware of its stickiness, the grit, the aroma and ultimately the joy of her vitality.I had been initiated into my future life through the alchemy of earth elements! A life that has been, and increasingly is guided by dreams and imagination.
As fate would have it,I experienced my second initiation while a student at U. of Notre Dame.Initially I pursued earth sciences, however, I decided to concentrate on philosophy and psychology.My initiation came during a Jungian psychology class, where I began a dream journal.I started remembering my dreams and had many powerful dreams that have guided my life direction.Several years after graduating from college,I was struggling to find my passion and a career to pursue.One morning I woke from a vivid dream of me returning to Norte Dame to learn pottery.The dream was very clear to me and felt like an epiphany,I packed immediately.After teaching myself to throw pots,I knew I was in love for the first time.I decided to apply to Kansas City Art Institute and was accepted. From the beginning I began to teach ceramics to children ,to support their imagination and playful creativity.Over time,I have worked with the elderly, the homeless and handicapped therapeutically.Recently,I completed a Dream Tending Certificate from Pacifica Institute to deepen my passion for dreams and their healing qualities.
My third great initiation was about community and livelihood.After completing the MFA degree from U. Of Washington I chose to stay in Seattle to start a pottery business. I needed a business name, soon a dream came to me.I was in the desert,I approached three native men around a fire, one of the elders spoke to me all night, and when I woke I heard the voices in dream say "ARUBA". During my first summer of teaching, I began my Clay Camps for kids....now in my 35th year! It was in this period that I realized I did not want to be a production potter, I decided to be a production tile maker. I acquired a tile extruded and my first large tile project was 10,000 Tiles for Tashkent (peace park in Russia).After completing this project I was invited to facilitate over fifty community based tile projects around Seattle over the course of ten years.Concurrently,I created a line of tile based on traditional Moorish and Islamic tile designs.I have developed strong personal relationship with my showrooms and continued the tradition of hand made tile.
This third initiation was when we bought some land and decided to build a studio for me.The new studio, a container for my life's work ,will be completed in 2017.I plan to create a community pottery and provide space for other imaginative souls to contribute their gifts to the world.
As I become an elder, I am aware more than ever the necessity to create beauty in the world, to inspire others to create beauty.We humans are unique in our ability to use our hands and words ,it is our responsibility to make beauty so the world can keep jumping up and living another day.