Artistic expression has been the definitive element of my life for as long as I can recall. Encouraged by my mother, also an artist, I started keeping a sketchbook at an early age, working on drawings and paintings, taking every art class I could. But as college approached art didn’t seem like a good choice for a major. Then one day in my second year as a student at the University of Vermont I happened upon a ceramics class firing a raku kiln behind the art building: smoke and fire and students moving with purpose. One look and I was hooked.
From that moment on I focused on art, and went on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree from Rutgers University. Now, how to make a living? Fortune shined in an out-of-the-blue job offer to work at a small tile manufacturing studio in Buck’s County, Pennsylvania. I got my hands back in clay and began learning traditional tile making techniques. So much to learn: elements of design, glaze chemistry, kiln firing, tile and mosaic installation. A door had opened on a whole new world, the art of tile.
Eventually I was ready to start my own studio. I picked the name based on my love of terra cotta clay and nature: Eartha Handmade Tile. My little studio in Southern Maryland is located in a funky purple building outfitted with thrift store chandeliers and a deck filled with flowers. My sweet dog Uma comes with me to work every day (lucky me).
I am inspired by my backyard, birds and other creatures, stars in the dark night sky, the simple beauty of everyday objects, art history and poetry . . . the list goes on and on! My tiles and mosaics combine sophisticated design with vibrant color and a sense of space. They are exhibited in shops and galleries throughout the US, and are installed in many private residences.
In the spirit of the words of environmentalist Rachel Carson: “Drink in the beauty and wonder at the meaning of everything you see.”