I first met Anne during a wood firing that she had organized at Albion College. After She graduated in 2010 with a BFA she immediately began working with me at my studio full time. I designed my studio to be a place where a community of makers could be free to practice their own art together. No one else, besides myself, has dedicated as much time and effort into making this dream a reality as much as Anne. I did not have apprenticeship or resident artist positions at my studio until Anne made these opportunities for herself and others. She has been my assistant, resident artist, studio manager and best friend for the past 6 years. Anne will be starting graduate school at Indiana University in the Fall of 2016 and I expect that we will see great things from her in the future.
Ryan lives off the grid in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. He fires with wood as an aesthetic statement, but his interest lies in its use a renewable resource and so his firings lean towards efficiency. Quick, gestural throwing and masterful brushwork characterizes Ryan's work. Ryan and I share many commonalities when it comes to maintaining our studios, which is why I think we have remained great friends for so many years. He has taught me a lot about the business aspects of being a potter. We designed and built my single chamber Noborigama style wood kiln so that I could better make production work.
Jeff introduced himself to me at my studio many years ago when he was still working at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. He has since moved to Cross Village and built his own anagama in the beautiful country of Northern Michigan. We have fired work at each other's studios many times throughout the years. It is always a joy to work with Jeff because he always brings new aesthetic ideas to each firing.
I met David within weeks of the first time that I touched clay. David is 2 years older than I am and showed me a model of what an advanced ceramic student looked like. Years after we had both graduated from Albion College, he came back from Steven's Point Wisconsin and decide to help me fire my new anagama. That was the beginning of a decades long relationship. David currently lives in Stoughton Wisconsin where he has a large anagama and also teaches ceramics at Edgewood College.
Peter Karner is a graduate of Albion College and a student of Lynne Chytilo. After an apprenticeship with Solveig Cox Peter returned to Michigan and spent a year working with me in my studio. He established his own studio in Durango Colorado and now owns and operates a ceramic studio in Denver. His work is nationally known and collected. Peter has returned for many firings over the years and continues to be a close friend.
I first met Henry when his College of Creative Studies class showed up to take a tour of my studio. He has been a periodic participant at my studio ever since. Henry has built a few kilns in the past few years that I know of, the Salty Dog in Detroit and the now famous Mobile Anagama. Henry and his girlfriend Virginia Torrence are now graduates of Alfred.
David Nelson has helped me fire my anagama many times and also helped me with the construction of my small catenary wood kiln. When He shows up to help with one of my firings he works long hours and always manages to have something positive to say. David brings a hand builder's technique and sensibilities to a firing, which I appreciate. He owns and operates a studio in Manchester Michigan.