I grew up in the East Village (NYC) but spent a lot of time upstate. I can't spend too long in one of the two without really needing a dose of the other, so it's definitely this tug of war that influences my work.
I use two kinds of porcelain, a red clay, a brown clay, and a low fire clay for big sculptures. I like having the option of several clay bodies to pick from depending on my mood. I want to make pieces to be used every day, pieces that feel good in your hand and good to drink out of. I'm not interested in perfection, or achieving uniformity. I love the uniqueness and specialness of each thing that is made by hand. That thought carries throughout pretty much everything in my day to day life; not just clay.
I don't remember starting pottery classes, just that it was as part of my routine as early as my memories allow. I want to retain some of that childhood influence in my work; that's where the porcelain fruit necklaces came from. It reminded me of pieces I made as a kid; miniature foods that my sister and I would make out of Sculpey for our dollhouses.
My formal training and background is in photography. I was working in that field for three years, before transitioning into making and selling my pottery. Its still a big part of me, but there's nothing like using a cup every day that wouldnt have existed if you hadn't decided to make it. Photography is a way to keep track of things that catch my eye, that describe a mood, or record daily details that inform my ceramic work.