I live in Anchorage, Alaska. My mother is Inupiat from Point Hope and my father is from Massachusetts, he was stationed in the Arctic with the Army Corps of Engineers where he met my mother. I have a degree in civil engineering and a fine arts degree in print making, both from the University of Alaska Anchorage.
I developed a tile clay body using the glacial clay from the Cook Inlet mud flats next to Anchorage. The name of the formation is Bootlegger Cove clay. Many of the tiles are made with my old fashion etching press and with copper or mat board plates. I mix my own glazes and fire to cone six in electric kilns.
The last native Alaskan potter working in the traditional ways died around 1880. She lived near Buckland Alaska, which is about 100-125 miles south of Point Hope. Point Hope has pottery shards dating back about 5,000 years and the village is one of the longest continuously inhabited communities in the Americas. It’s a comfort to think that I’m kind of reviving an old art by collecting clay and processing it for use, though of course with new technological twists, such as using an electric kiln.