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Loren’s Story

I have been actively creating art since age 15. My love of clay began at home, watching my sister throw pots on a kick wheel. I returned the favor and led my mother into ceramics. A Washington DC-area potter, I earned my BFA from Alfred University after studying with Don Reitz at the University of Wisconsin. My association with Ruth Duckworth at Alfred was instrumental in my identifying herself as an artist. Seeing Duckworth’s work and thought process helped me understand how to lay the foundation for a lifetime of art making. I see my life as an artist intertwined in everything I do.

For 45 years, I have used clay as the most direct medium to create my art. Pottery satisfies my need for tactile intimacy, expressiveness, and communication. In 2005, I built a woodfire Bourry Box kiln in my backyard. This was a seminal decision to engage my art on my own terms. I minimize the environmental impact of my art making by collecting wood from my neighborhood, and because my kiln burns very efficiently, no smoke is emitted.

I use local clays, and I limit the use of glazes. I focus on finding expressive surfaces from the woodfiring process to complement my ceramic forms. As a result, my use of refined chemicals is lessened, and my exposure to toxic raw materials is minimized.

I continued to make art while working as a computer programmer and librarian. I earned a Masters of Library Science in 2000, and was instrumental in moving the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art from microfilming to digitizing its collections. I was an informal in-house expert on ceramics and always a cheerleader for acquiring ceramic-related materials. I retired in 2015 to solely focus on my art.

Loren in her kiln