When you start college, you are faced with a series of questions regarding what you want to major in. What do you want your career path to be? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? I dabbled with the thoughts of becoming a nurse, a therapist, a manager of a nonprofit organization. The idea of choosing the wrong career caused me so much stress and anxiety. During my college experience, I reconnected with my dream guy and basically just wanted to finish as quickly as possible so that we could get married. While I accomplished my biggest dream of marrying Jake, I settled on the decision to complete my degree in organizational leadership.
I’m still in my twenties and I’ve already experienced several different career paths. I’ve worked as a data analyst in an office setting, a sales associate at a fancy retail store, and in an elementary school as a teacher. Through all of these changes in both major and career, one thing has remained constant- my love of creating things for others. I have always been surrounded by creative people. My dad has always been able to make anything that he put his mind to making and my mother has this incredible design sense. Their combined talents created a beautiful, bold, and cozy home. In my family, homemade gifts were the best gifts. These were heirlooms that would be passed down amongst our families. The joy that came from taking the time and effort to make a loved one something especially for them touched my heart. Life is short, and those special touches made all the difference to our loved ones regardless of whether they were celebrating a birthday, grieving a lost loved one, or they just needed a pick-me-up.
My family has always been one that loved to work with their hands. I got that honest. It only made sense that after trying career path after career path, I would find emptiness unless I was working with my own hands creating something. I have loved painting and experimenting with different mediums since I was very young, maybe five years old. There was a lot of chaos and tragedy happening around me and making things was my way of staying calm. It was also my way of making those around me feel better when I didn’t know what else I could do. I painted and sculpted my way through adolescence, but when it became time to be an adult, I was afraid to rely on the skills that had sustained me throughout the years. It didn’t sound prestigious. There was no concrete path that would guarantee a career and I was terrified to pave my own.
I took around four basic art classes in college and strangely enough, none of these were a course on ceramics- my first love of a medium. As nerdy as it sounds, I used to play with clay creating my favorite characters from video games and figurines of memorable events in my life. My husband is learning to work with his hands just like my dad does. One Christmas, he decided to work with dad and made me the ultimate gift- a beautiful pottery wheel. I have spent countless hours teaching myself how to throw pottery. Countless hours making misshapen, goopy clay blobs. Even more learning the tricky science behind glazing pottery to give it a beautiful paintjob that stands out. Through this process, I have fallen in love with ceramics. I love throwing the clay and shaping it with my hands. I love that it makes me practice patience so that things will turn out just right. I love that the process makes myself stop my anxiety long enough to truly enjoy the ride. I didn’t get a fancy education in art, but I put in hours and hours of time practicing, reading, researching because I wanted to succeed.
I started The Clay Moon because I want to continue the love of giving handmade goods like my family did. I want to continue a feeling of uniqueness and thoughtfulness through my art. The Clay Moon began out of my little garage studio with the hopes that I can create pieces that bring joy to others during their lives and that will be passed down to generations to come. So those of you that feel like you can’t follow your dreams because it isn’t good enough for other people or because you missed the opportunity to pursue it in college, don’t let that stop you from getting out into your own garage and banging out your dream. Go for it. Be the person that you were meant to be. Follow your gifts and let your heart be your guide.