Margaret Norman

I discovered clay in high school and after graduating followed that passion to the Tuscarora Pottery School in northern Nevada before attending college. 

Many years elapse during which I didn’t make pots: I worked in construction, studied architecture at UC Berkeley, and then worked in various associated fields. After practicing in the field of architecture for several years I was yearning to get my hands dirty again.  I took several semesters of ceramics classes Contra Costa College and Laney College.   In 2005, when my son started school, I set up a small studio in our back yard in Berkeley. In 2013, I moved from my tiny but bucolic space to my present studio in south Berkeley. My new studio is light-filled, spacious and still in flux.

I work predominantly with a red clay, mixed locally, and fire to cone 5-6 in oxidation.  Lately I have also been exploring "Flame Clay".  Pots made from this clay can be put directly over an open flame and are less susceptible to thermal shock. 

When I use a handmade object, whether of clay or wood or fabric, I relish the signs of the makers touch.  I notice the texture and colors and the myriad small decisions made about form and function.   For me, handling, serving, eating from, and even washing hand-made dishes seems a good antidote to our virtual world.  I hope that my pots similarly provide this physical, tactile experience.