Meet Alysa

Poetry was my first love. Mary Oliver, Emily Dickinson, Pablo Neruda, ee cummings.  Their poems woke me up each day so I could see the world in new ways. They helped me not take things for granted. Ever since, I've been fascinated about how the arts can transform, heal, and help us connect with each other and the world. 

My degrees are in English and Expressive Arts Therapy. After graduating, I worked with adults with mental illness and then in hospice for several years. It was an honor to witness everyone's journey and see how the arts and mindful presence could be a positive force in people's lives. After my 13th winter in Boston, however, I needed a break from the cold.  My husband and I packed up our two cats and belongings, stuffed them in a Corolla and a small Uhaul trailer, and headed to North Carolina without even visiting first.  

Two children and 5 years later, I had a job and home life that took all my energy. I was burning out and thought I'd take a class just for fun at our nearby arts center. I chose pottery because it was completely new to me, particularly the wheel. I loved the camaraderie of the small class, the concentration of efforts, and the patience of the teacher.  

I was really terrible at the wheel at first - it took me six weeks to make any form at all. For some reason, I reveled in the lack of mastery. I have always been a good student, and new things have always come pretty easily. This took determination, practice, discipline. Finally, in the last class, my teacher asked me if I was an overthinker. I laughed and told her I had spent the weekend learning about the physics of the wheel. She spent the night distracting me with chatter, and I made my first cylinder! This is what I find beautiful about throwing on the wheel. I have to focus and center, but I also have to get out of my head. I have to let my body lead and give in to the sensory experience.

Since that first class, pottery has become a gradual obsession, and I love that I'll never stop finding new things to learn. I'm happy to have the opportunity to share my work because there is such beauty in living a creative life. And also because I'm running out of shelf space in my home.