In the beginning, I was somewhat tricked into throwing on the wheel. In the 80’s, I was a high school student where I took an elective class pottery/ceramics. When we got to the section on throwing, Mrs. Kish, the art teacher asked if anyone would like to try throwing. No one really took her up on the offer until she said, “It takes a lot of strength to throw.” I believe she was playing mind games to get some of us to try it. I tried and found out I could center pretty easily. That started my love for throwing on the wheel.
Fast forward about 3 years, I met professor, Gordon Zahradnik. He was the art teacher at Sterling College. Mr. Z, as we all called him, did not cut any of his students any slack. He introduced me to many different, mediums. One of which was called Raku. I could not get enough of the process.
Once I graduated, my job at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility as a Recreation Therapist was planned to include pottery instruction. Like many of the State programs, it was cut out of the budget and I moved to just recreation. At that point, pottery took on a new meaning to me of escape. It was a way to reduce the stress of working with inmate populations.
Since I had no equipment, my wife saw the enjoyment that pottery creation brought me, so she bought me a drying rack in the early 90s to fill. From then, I bought a used wheel and kiln I rebuilt. My first art show was in Halstead and the annual Arts and Crafts Festival in the mid-90s. Through that regular channel of artistic expression and exposure, I took on a few private students. One student went on to her own art business. Pottery has been and still is a quiet, relaxing, artistic outlet for me. My next venture will be helping with the new Springdale Art and Nature Center, in Harvey County, as a guest pottery instructor.