Every woman has her own specific strengths, and the “My Mountain Girl” series aims to capture them. Capture why she loves living in the Rocky Mountain West, and how she uses those strengths to do, and be, her best. We are all so similar, but our differences provoke a sense of wonder and awe for each other. And by telling each other’s stories, perhaps it will motivate or spark something inside of another to reach beyond our own comfort zone. To try something new. To see things in a new light.
It is our great pleasure to introduce to you our newest Mountain Girl – Megan. I had the honor of watching her at work in her studio, and her space emits nature, thoughtfulness and conscious living. She is a gentle spirit, and her passion for creating is obvious. Her philosophy on teaching children to embrace art and the fulfillment that comes with the creation process is lovely and so important. Thank you, Megan, for sharing your talents and story with us!
Tell us about you. I have lived in Colorado since I was a baby, growing up in Colorado Springs and Wellington. I currently live in Fort Collins. I work as a ceramic artist and teach K-6 art in Cheyenne. I have a small studio in my home where I create mostly raku and horse hair pottery. I have always been captivated by art and art making. I took my first wheel throwing class at the age of ten and have loved it ever since. I have been teaching art for seven years now. I have found that in addition to my ceramic art, teaching allows me to immerse myself in sharing the magic that is art making with students. I have a bachelor’s degree from UNC Greeley in ceramics and art education, and recently finished my Masters in Art Education from Boston University.
Outside of creating art, I love road trips, outdoor adventures, and spending time with my animals and family. I live with my husband, Will, cats Olive and Hermes, dogs Ronan and Murphy, and own a horse, Bridgette. I purchased Bridgette as a two-year old. She is now six and I am training her in Dressage. She is the first horse I have started myself, it has been a rewarding challenge. Riding horses has greatly influenced my life and art making. I started riding as a child and can’t imagine living without them. Additionally, I love outdoor activities. When I’m not riding, I snowboard, hike, snow shoe, camp, and backpack. Last year my husband and I went snow cave camping for the first time with a group of friends. We all spent the night in our own hand-dug snow bivouacs. That was quite the fun (and cold) adventure! In order to support my fitness for my hobbies, I started CrossFit four years ago. I discovered that I love Olympic weight lifting and the fitness I have gained from CrossFit.
What is your favorite thing about living in the Rocky Mountain West? Having access to the mountains. I love waking up and seeing them on my drive to work, and watching the sunset over them in the evening. Our surroundings are so amazingly breathtaking, I try to take the time to notice and appreciate some part of the simple beauty each day. Lately, I have been inspired by the changing season, the clear nights with millions of stars, and the crisp mornings at the barn where I can watch red tail hawks fly over the pasture and listen to the horses’ breathing. It is truly awe inspiring if you pay attention. I also love the friendly, fun, and nature-loving people who I am lucky to have in my life living here. Our unique surroundings and the people who love it really make it an exceptional place to be.
How do you put that into action? By spending time in nature, sharing adventures with my friends, and creating art that is inspired by my experiences and surroundings. Whether I am out on a hike or at the barn, I try to soak it in and appreciate the beauty in everyday life. I was riding up by Red Feather this June through literally millions of wild flowers, it felt like I was in a dream. Those are the moments I try to capture and take with me so I can use them as inspiration in my work.
What is your favorite place to visit in the region? Growing up in Fort Collins, various areas in the Roosevelt National Forrest and Poudre Canyon are very dear to my heart. I am also captivated by the Western Slope and Southwestern Colorado. The Tetons and Yellow Stone are also amazing. Naming one is too hard.
Who or what motivates you in your space? Throwing is like meditating to me. My ritual is making tea, putting on bluegrass, and letting everything fade away. Then I can focus on my hands in the clay, the curve of the vessels, the rhythm of the wheel. My wheel is located by our sliding glass window, in the summer I love to open it up and breathe in the fresh air and soak up the sun while I’m working. Pottery is an old art form, and I can’t help but feel when I’m throwing that I’m connecting with a rich history, carrying on an innate human tradition. That connection and dialogue is very motivating.
What do you do to feel your best? Working out is huge along with eating healthy and getting enough sleep. In addition to that, spending time outdoors always feels like a refreshing reset, whether I go on a hike or out to see the horses. Making time to make art is also therapeutic. If I’m feeling stressed, those are my go-to activities to feel better.
And finally, our Speed Round with Megan:
- Tent or camper? Tent
- #1 beauty product? Chap Stick
- Favorite book? I don’t think I can pick just one. I have been reading a lot of Christopher Moore lately, he’s one of my favorite authors.
- Current favorite song? Same thing! One of my constant favorites is Corb Lund. I’ve also been crazy lately about Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck.
- If your friends used a word to describe you, what would it be? Positive
- Comfort food? Chocolate
- Exercise of choice? CrossFit
- Trip you want to take? Costa Rica
- Guilty pleasure? Chai Tea Lattes
- Favorite spot in your house? Bed
- Mountains or beach? Mountains
Other than in her studio or an elementary art room, Megan can be found at http://www.hoodceramics.com/.