My passions for pottery and martial arts were first awakened in the fourth grade. I studied judo at the local “Y” until the fateful competition where my hefty opponent fell on me and sprained my ankle. Ouch. Oh, well. Meanwhile, my hippie teacher, Mr. Ryan, introduced our class to pottery. After finishing my work and helping a new student with her math, sometimes he’d let me go quietly to the back of the classroom and play with clay. He was the coolest. He had long hair with a full beard. He rode a purple Indian motorcycle, and had a bumper sticker on his old white Chevy van that said “Don’t be a litterbug”. That was San Diego in the 70’s.

After my college years at UC Berkeley, and studying my junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain, I lived and travelled in Brazil for a year and a half. Living abroad in both countries was an exciting adventure during which time I continued to study ceramics and sought out opportunities to immerse myself in local art. In Madrid, at Churruca Studios, I learned to throw on the potter’s wheel while standing, which became my preferred method. On a visit to Barcelona, I was overwhelmed by the organic and daring beauty of Gaudi’s structural artistry. Living in Madrid near the Prado, I continued to nourish my artistic self with many visits that included contemplation of Velasquez’s “Las Meninas”, Picasso’s “Guernica”, and Goya’s “The 3rd of May 1808 in Madrid: the executions on Principe Pio hill”, to name a few.

While immersing myself in Brazilian culture and spirituality, I developed an affinity for meditation and eventually spent five months in an ashram in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro. Upon my return from Brazil, I was introduced to taiji and immediately my passion for martial arts was reawakened. I continued my studies of taiji while creating ceramics and concurrently began my career as a bilingual educator.

In 2003, I moved to Idyllwild, built a studio, and dedicated myself to creating ceramic art and teaching taiji in earnest. In 2008, I decided to study Reiki for self-treatment, and low and behold, another passion took root. I later became a Reiki Master/Teacher and thoroughly enjoy initiating others into the practice.