Almond Ave is me, Carla McHattie. I grew up in St. Paul, MN and now live and work in Portland, Oregon.
I started making pottery in High School when I spent three summers working with my neighbor Peter Leach in what I see now as an apprenticeship. He is my mentor and his pottery that I use daily a continuation of his lesson plan.
Part of the work I did for Peter was weeding his wife Nan's extensive garden. Just over the fence was my Father's 90+ rose bushes, and my mothers garden (which I never weeded). I developed a love for gardens and a respect for the work that goes into the casual beauty of flowers.
I earned a degree in Fine Art Ceramics from Lewis & Clark College, and Ted Vogel was my teacher and advisor. He advised me to make sculpture, and so I did. I fought with painting, drawing, and historical compositions as well for 4 years until they won, and earned their place behind my eyes.
After college I have had many teachers: Victoria Christen, Stephen Mickey, Don Sprague, Jan Edwards and Barbara Bartholomew to name a treasured few. I worked hard to keep ceramics part of my life and have kept learning and making.
Floral feels natural to me, bringing my fine art training and my love of the garden together. The complement of pottery and handmade vessels completes the picture.
Almond Ave is a nod to where it all began, the street I grew up on, and who I became there. The work is all about movement and function, and made to be joyfully put to use.