In searching to expand her skill Annie joined the Rochester Folk Art Guild in 1972. The Guild offered an apprenticeship in throwing clay, which introduced a new-found level of discipline, both professionally and spiritually.
Learning through repetition and growth, for several years she was given daily tasks of crafting one hundred mugs, two hundred bowls and three hundred handles, which funnelled Annie’s attention into refining the minutia of her work.
Annie was encouraged to be attentive, refining working with her hands and focusing on repetition, meditation, and consideration. In doing so there is a harmony of head, body, and mind that draws closer to notions of unity.
The parallels in development between spirit and pottery work are clear, facilitating a kind of geist to enter into the clay, enduring fire in order to be transformed into something durable, resilient, and true.
Through her craft, Annie aims to continue her inner discipline, whether this be going back to basics by throwing clay for mugs or focusing on the intricacies of crafting porcelain. For the latter, it can take days to complete a piece, thus producing a physical manifestation which is the epitome of skill, focus and discipline. Annie takes inspiration from the ancient traditions in carvings from the Sung dynasty in China, and Koryŏ dynasty now forming both North and South Korea, allowing interpretations of these traditions to live on through her porcelain.
Discipline has carried Annie throughout her life, with Iyengar yoga being a manifestation and expression of that in recent years. By working without absence of flaw, and accepting our embodied condition, Annie’s work with both ceramics and yoga allow for existential concerns to translate into the action of being.
Drawing inspiration from her environment while living modestly as part of the community are sentiments fundamental to Annie’s pieces.
“I am in constant awe of the patterns, textures and rhythms
of nature. I wish my work to reflect this as well as nature’s mystery; to let the clay dance in my hands and my body so that the clay and I become one. And when the user of these pots eats, drinks or arranges flowers, I hope he or she can experience this mystery and the sacredness of life in small daily rituals.”