This may be way more than most people want to know, but some are curious about how people get to where they are, so here's a brief overview of what has happened to bring me to where I am now.
Born in Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania, I grew up there and in Chicago and Denver. After attending a Quaker High School in Philadelphia, I enrolled at Antioch College where I changed majors every term before taking a ceramic class the last term before graduation. I was captivated and immediately sought a pottery apprenticeship and had the good fortune to spend a year as an apprentice to Byron Temple in Lambertville NJ. The following summer I took a workshop with Karen Karnes at Penland School and participated in a kiln building workshop on Paulus Berensohn's Pennsylvania farm. Paulus became a major lifetime influence. In the Fall, wanting to understand why commercial pots were so ugly, I worked for 5 months at the Haeger Potteries in Dundee Illinois. After ski bumming and doing construction the remainder of the winter through summer, in the Fall of 1969 I enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Oregon.
The University of Oregon Ceramic Program at that time was focused on understanding ceramic processes at a deep level and paid minimal attention to galleries and the larger craft world. I had applied to other schools and been rejected largely because my formal art training consisted on one basic design class and a term of beginning ceramics. The U of O took me as, hopefully, good raw material. I thrived there and stayed an extra year to teach, replacing a faculty on sabbatical. I thought I would continue to teach in a college or university, but I played my cards poorly and in the Fall I was doing construction briefly and setting up a pottery studio which quickly became full time. That work is summarized in a 1985 Biography and a 1981 exhibition record linked below.
By 1986 my ceramic work had become unsatisfying. I sought clarity through some intensive personal growth seminars. I married (had 2 children and 14 years later divorced). In 1989 I enrolled in a Masters counseling program at the University of Oregon. Upon graduation I worked for seven years at Lane Community College training injured workers, placing and supervising work experiences for social science students and supervising field placements for students in the Chemical and Alcohol Dependency Program. I left LCC to begin a collaboration with Carol Lynn Morse, a brilliant parent educator, in producing a parent education telecourse based on the principles of Rudolf Dreikurs. Over the next seven years I videotaped parents and children in their homes and then videotaped the counseling sessions in a parenting education class with Carol Lynn and the parents. These tapes were edited into 30 minute episodes, each focused on different parenting principles. This collaboration ended abruptly when Carol Lynn was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer which soon took her life. The 'rough draft' 20 episode series, Improving Parent-Child Relationships is on YouTube. This is the address of the first episode:
Following Carol Lynn's death I became a trained mediator and have been doing volunteer community mediation through the local dispute resolution center and couples mediation through a community counseling center. I also began to read daily during the school year with struggling 1st grade readers. It's a source of enormous pleasure. Those were my main two 'productive' activities until a trip through Southern Utah in 2016. The second half of the Ceramics Monthly article linked below is about my return to clay after that trip.
Now I'm making pots, sometimes intensely and other times not at all. If this virus ever gets under control, I'll be back with my 1st graders daily and doing mediation from time to time. While officially 'retired' I am doing more than ever and with a deep sense of appreciation for my continuing good fortune.