I have spent my career in healthcare communications, but I’ve always loved to make things with my hands, from sewing to weaving to illustration. I became interested in pottery after taking a couple of single-evening classes (in the “date night” format popular with pottery studios – bring a bottle of wine! And this studio even had a 12-ft tall still detail from “Ghost” on the wall). I found a local studio and diligently set about learning to throw, with fantasies of making all my own dishes, but throwing didn’t gel for me. On a whim I took a handbuilding class focused on animal forms, and I was hooked.

Shortly after that, Dunne et al. published their study finding evidence of ruminant milk in ancient children’s feeding vessels. This was objectively interesting, but it also turned out that many of these vessels had animal features. Thus, a perfect storm was formed, uniting my interest in human development, functional ware, and cute animal representations.

My primary interest is in using modern materials and tools to explore the visual and interactive aspect of these forms – their appearance, size, and utility – but I haven’t ruled out some ancient-style pit-firing in the future.

Caitlin Burke
PO Box 4825
Baltimore MD