Later on, my college professor and his wife, Mitch and Barb Messina, not only modeled the tenacity needed for the Artist-Teacher life, but cajoled, pushed and lovingly nagged me into applying for graduate school and helped navigate the territories beyond.

While in graduate school, I was inspired by the integrity and talent of David MacDonald, whose tremendous skill with the wheel may have been wasted on a hand-builder like myself, but nevertheless his challenges guided my progress.

Through Clayworks and other art centers, I have been exposed to dozens of artist-teachers who exemplify the joy and passion of their craft. Either acting as an assistant to a visiting artist or indulging in the necessary luxury of a two-week workshop elsewhere, I have gained knowledge and insight that has led me to be a better teacher and artist.

To paraphrase Thomas Merton, “Don’t ask me what I do for a living, ask me what I do to live.”