I fell in love with what glazes were doing on the surface of porcelain. All of a sudden I began to skip all other classes to spend time on the wheel. After I participated in a couple of art shows on campus, I began to get job offers from art schools around Indiana. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that I might actually be able to make a living in the realm of pottery. After some serious introspection of what I was doing at DePauw, I decided to drop out and seek guidance elsewhere. Such as Northern New Mexico.
During the summer of 1999 I met master potter, Felipe Ortega, while working at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Once again, I found myself skipping out on my duties to be in a pottery studio. It was at Felipe's studio where I first started making coil-built, micaceous clay cookware. It was also where I decided to reevaluate my tenure at DePauw and how I wanted to proceed forward with my love of pottery. On my first morning at Felipe's, he invited me to his studio to see how he makes coffee mugs. He showed me the steps involved, then watched me make one and said, “good, now you need to make 20 more”. Thus began an almost two-year apprenticeship learning and breathing the dos and don’ts of coil-built micaceous pottery. Very quickly I learned that this clay was like nothing else I had experienced — from digging clay barefoot on a cactus-covered mountainside to the extreme heat produced by the pit firings. Roughly one year into my apprenticeship, I received my first gallery representation in Santa Fe at Cafe Pasqual's Gallery.