Art pottery speaks to me, and I’m not sure why that is. But collecting and studying it did not begin until after I inherited a few pieces from Granny, my mother’s mother. Granny’s house was a favorite summer getaway, full of books, knick-knacks, pugs, built-ins, foreign languages, my silent Norwegian grandfather, and art. In her home, everything had a story… and as a child, I loved hearing and retelling these tales.
It was a few years after her passing, about 1987, while teaching English at Wichita State University, that I began my own collection—and later came to write books on pottery, to deal in collectible ceramics, and eventually to teach a college course in American Crafts History. Through all of this, I was fortunate to enjoy the love and support of my other half, George Cooper, who also taught me ballroom dancing. In 1997 we adopted Lakewood (a Cleveland suburb), where I know Granny would feel perfectly at ease in our 1917 century home. She would see a little of herself here.