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As a child, I learned about going to the source of things with my father through rock hunting and collecting all around New England. Later, as a college Art major I studied sculpture, painting and clay. This led to starting a pottery business in Westport, Connecticut and for 6 years, made pottery and taught clay classes from my studio there. During this period, I would dig my own clay from a nearby brick yard to learn about the how, what and where the stuff of pots comes from. I was awarded a C. C. A. grant to find and use clay and glaze materials for making pots from local sources in that state.
In 1977, I sold my business and took an apprenticeship opportunity with Todd Piker at Cornwall Bridge Pottery in the Northwest corner of Connecticut. I learned production throwing and wood firing pottery in his large kiln.
In 1978, I moved to South Paris, Maine to open Christian Ridge Pottery in a large space under the Celebration Mime Theatre barn.
There, clay and performance arts found many fascinating ways to intersect over the next 10 years. Again, I sought out and found a local clay source.
I made the first Apple Baker in the Fall of 1979 based on a candle holder design I’d made then altered for its new function. It was a grand success, selling by the hundreds at craft fairs and from my shop.
LL Bean picked up Apple Bakers for their Freeport, Maine store. From there, we made it into their catalogues. Sales were so brisk, it became necessary to streamline production with a clay press, though we still hand finished, decorated and glazed every Apple Baker. And I still do today.
While at the “Barn” location, I sponsored pottery workshops featuring potters I’d met while working in Connecticut. World famous British Potter Michael Cardew and David Leach and Paulus Berensohn taught weekend workshops attracting participants from all over the United States.
I closed Christian Ridge Pottery in 2016 and moved to Auburn to return to my studio pottery roots, digging my own clay and making pottery that reflects and honors the origin of the clay medium and the inspiration of the environment it comes from.