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Back To Ceramics

Elizabeth Satterfield

My love of clay began at an early age, 3  or 4 as I remember, my Mom and Nana had a 'ceramic shop' and I went to work with my Mom.  Now this was back in the Early 70's when Ceramics and Macramé were  cool things to do and I was a little snot running around the shop shaking tables while the ladies were trying to paint in detail.  We had a cool refrigerator with sodas in it and snacks of  crackers and Mr. Goodbars. Nana kept me busy making things, she did all the molding with slips, she also painted and did a lot of the firing.  Mom tried to keep me distracted from the painting ladies while teaching painting class, helping customers with projects, and anything else she needed to do to help Nana run the business.  I played with my cousin Brantley outside, and inside the shop.  There was lots to do at "Lizzy's Hobby Shop" as the business was called.

 I could paint ceramics before I could write LIZ  and that is not a hard name to spell.  However I didn't really like to paint the stuff I just wanted to make it, but Nana always made me finish what I started  or else I couldn't do another piece.

The best way I remember it is when I was 9 my Mom got pregnant with my little brother and  within a few years ceramics had  sort of 'gone out of style' sooo Nana  moved the shop to a building behind her house and scaled it down a bit.  She still had customers but just  the loyal regulars and of course the family, the aunts and cousins, and friends always needed a gift or something to match something else. As a kid, I always had cool Christmas gifts for my friends that I made in Nana's shop and even as an adult I gave many  presents I made in my Nana's shop "free or charge I might add"  Only my Nana's labor, and mine too.  Nana always made me do any writing or script she wanted on a piece cause she said I had pretty handwriting with the artistic touch.

Well Nana tried to show me the ropes and I was off busy doing something else,  a little sunk in  and then the big wheel goes round.  I married the love of my life in 1993 and in 1994 was pregnant with our son Eli when Nana was tragically killed in an automobile accident while pulling out of her driveway.  She was 72 and still lived alone, running the shop and even cutting her own grass, Man she had a Big Yard.  She hauled her own firewood and still managed a garden. She is terribly missed but there's not a member in our family other than my son who doesn't have fond memories of the ceramic shop and the way it always smelled.

Well to make a long story short in 2002 I went back to college to finish what I had started, a degree in art. I was primarily a painter but Ceramics 101 was a part of my curriculum (imagine that) and when I walked in the pottery lab and smelled that smell, it was like Nana was standing beside me. And I know she was.  Ceramics 101 turned into 102,103,104,and countless  Advanced Methods. 

 then FINALLY I graduated and GUESS WHAT?

 $45 Grand later and a college degree I figured out what  I should have known at age 10.

Clay was in my Soul!

My clay though different than  Nana's she would be proud, and I know she is.  It feels natural to do pottery  Now I still paint but not as much on canvass anymore but in a different way glazing by pottery but it fills the need to paint and I still have a brush in my hand. Expression means different things to different artists. To me expression is obsession. The uncontrollable urge to create let’s me know I am an artist.   When I can't create something is missing.  Creation is not limited to clay for me.   I have several mediums I 'dabble' in.

Now I reside in Southeast Harris County right outside of Hamilton Georgia.

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