Monday, October 5, 2015

To Anne

This summer, a friend and mentor of mine, Anne Armstrong, passed away rather suddenly. It was shocking and a reminder to live my life as best I can every single day 'cause you just never know...
 When I moved home after art school to set up my own pottery studio, I wandered into Anne's shop and basically begged her for a job. She laughed in my face and said she didn't need any help. At that moment, her husband wandered in and laughed in her face. She smiled and offered me a one-day-a-week part time job. Before the end of my first day, it became 2 days a week.

Working with Anne was incredible. She taught me all sorts of things that school neglected to (like all the businessey stuff art schools steer clear of). I would watch her throw pots as I mopped the floor, or sieved her glazes, or load her kiln. I watched her wield a brush like a master and decorate simple, functional forms in fluid,  confident strokes. I learned tips and tricks that only decades of experience can teach.

Anne helped me get the footing I needed to get my own business off the ground. She was incredibly supportive and was always there to answer questions, offer advice, and crack a joke. She made a mark on me and my work, and I can't even begin to describe the influence she has had on me.

This past Saturday, I spent the day helping her family have a farewell sale, selling off studio furnishing, tools, supplies and of course, her pottery.

Anne was in business for over 40 years. She traveled a lot to craft shows, taught workshops, had work in galleries and published in books. She had an incredible and loyal group of customers fans. And to see them out in force on Saturday was incredibly humbling and awe inspiring. I was struck with joy and grief at all of the people who wanted just one more piece of Anne to bring light into their homes.

I will do you proud, my friend, and wouldn't be where I am without you. Thank you for everything.


  1. What a wonderful tribute to Anne. You have made her proud wherever she is on her latest incarnation.