Posted by on Jun 6, 2009 in Blog | 5 comments

Wow–my first post–a toe-dip into the social networking pool.  I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but couldn’t seem to get started.  Then, surfing the Net (do people still say that?) for images for my next body of work, I ran into Julie Zickefoose’s blog.  I’ve never met her, but can tell you she is a Renaissance woman–most knowledgeable naturalist, wonderful artist, eloquent writer, amazing photographer, musician (haven’t heard her perform, but it’s bound to be good…the members of her group, The Swinging Orangutans, sure look like they’re having fun), devoted mother to two human and a non-human (but almost!) children.  Check out her blog and you’ll see what I mean.  You can get there from here (Julie, hope you don’t mind my sharing!):

Anyway, Julie’s blog has been so much fun to read, I was inspired to get started on my own.  No doubt there will be a lot of refinement and changes as I learn the mechanics.  Whereas my husband is the technology expert, I sometimes think I was meant to live in an earlier era….before electricity, and flush toilets (for example, I don’t know if the above link will work)…but I digress.

If I may provide a little background–not to brag or yap forever, but in hope that some of this will resonate with many of you.

Formally trained as a zoologist, with a strong background in anthropology, I am enjoying a second life as a clay artist.  (This seems to be a common occurrence–I’ve run into so many scientists-turned-artists!)   As a teen, I used to dabble–draw, doodle, even painted a little in oils and acrylics.   I adored my middle school art teacher.  One day, upon seeing my clay sculpture, she said, “You know, you really aren’t very good.”  That shut me down for many, many years.

Lessons learned:
1.  It’s amazing the impact a thoughtless remark can have on a child or young person–I think my brother and I were very sensitive children, but I see this a lot, even today.  I am grateful to that art teacher for helping me to become an encouragement (I hope and at least try to be) to my students.  The little ones are pretty fearless, but I’ve seen the hesitation and self-doubt in kids as young as 8.  As for adults, fearful of mistakes, we can spend a lot of time staring at the clay before making that first mark in that wonderful, squishy, and most of all, forgiving material.
2.  Don’t believe everything someone tells you.
3.  Trust your own inner wisdom. (Still have trouble with that one!)
I’m having the time of my life, getting my hands dirty doing the very thing a well-meaning “expert” told me I was not good at, and sharing my passion.  It doesn’t get any better than that.


  1. 6-6-2009

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. 6-6-2009

    Needed to clarify something so posted a comment. Later figured out how to edit blogs that have been posted. Everything is a process!

    You’ll be glad to know I do much better with electricity and toilets!

  3. 6-6-2009

    You honor me, Clay Lady. I know you’ll have fun with blogging, and I’m proud to be both an inspiration and your first commenter! I was going to tell you how to edit a post, but I see you found the little yellow pencil…

    Post coming up tomorrow you will LOVE. It’s called “Someone Dribbled Dog.” Talk about angles!

    Chet Baker sends his love.

  4. 6-6-2009

    Thank you, sweet lady. Thought I’d better put a lid on it before you think I’m a stalker or weird person. I did share the blog with hubby, who did not know about the art teacher. He was very impressed that I got this far (reference remark about electricity and toilets) and is now working on a blog of his own! See what you started?

    BTW, he is doing battle with a birdseed thievin’ squirrel varmint (it’s so Yosemite Sam, I can’t believe it). The squirrel, through shear persistence, is winning the battle, but you didn’t hear it from me!!!

    Can’t wait for your next post. Smooches to Chet!

  5. 6-7-2009

    Loved your post–wrote a long comment, and could have gone on much longer! Love the angles of the photographs–I can only imagine the contortions it took to get them!