Patty grew up in Toledo, Ohio, where the Toledo Museum of Art inspired her from an early age. An Art Major in high school led to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan.
A summer job in Yellowstone National Park was supposed to be Patty’s “one chance to see the West”. However, one summer turned into five, and then a life. Patty lived and worked in Yellowstone and Gardiner, MT for many years, including the opportunity to raise her daughters in this unique environment. As the Director of Operations for CoolWorks.com, Patty helps connect the dots for others to learn about Jobs In Great Places, like Yellowstone. She still pinches herself – feeling blessed and knowing she lives a really sweet life.
Life’s journey landed Patty in Helena, MT, where the universe offered up the Archie Bray. Being involved in this art community has renewed her creative expression in clay. In addition to pottery, one hand is always dipping and doing – drawing, photography, quilting, cooking – while the other is engaged in the great outdoors one way or another. Grateful for Helena’s magical combination of green spaces, central MT location and countless cultural and community events, she can be found in the South Hills with her dog and her sweetie, volunteering for her CSA and getting creative with local ingredients in the kitchen, chilling with yoga, connecting with friends and family, and always up for a new adventure. Recent experiences in the big wide world include Sea Kayaking in SE Alaska, and relaxing at Kalani Retreat Center on the Big Island of Hawaii, helping with the travel count of 48 states, 32 national parks and 11 countries – and counting.
Life moves quickly and sometimes the path takes a diversion for a minute or a year. The gift of being a creative resides in a deep place, within one’s soul, for a lifetime. Expression ebbs and flows with seasons, environment, opportunity, time, inspiration.
I find inspiration in the natural world and in the beauty of line, shape and color. Much of my current work involves a technique known as “sgraffito”, placing a layer of color on a pot, and carving through the color into the clay body. Hours go by as I’m lost in creating a design, a micro-sculpture, a statement. I often mix text into the work, combining a lifetime connection to the power of the word with the lovely curves and flow of different alphabets. The sgraffito process involves a limited window of time to create within, before the clay dries beyond carving possibility.