I first encountered clay at age 6, sculpting animals in the basement of a hobbyist / ceramics teacher in Queens, New York. I intermittently continued building with clay throughout grade school. In high school an art teacher demonstrated throwing on the wheel and encouraged my interest in ceramics. In 1964, while employed as a research microbiologist in New York City, I began attending evening classes at Greenwich House Pottery.

After marrying in 1965 and while raising two children, I continued working part-time with clay for the next 14 years. I worked as a volunteer in numerous community programs and
elped establish a potter's support group - the Hudson River Potters. In addition to creating my own work, I attended many ceramic classes and workshops, and studied weaving and basketry as well. I also became the founding director of a non-profit municipal gallery, The Gallery at Hastings on Hudson.

In 1978 my husband and I decided to take advantage of an opportunity to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area. I realized this was my opportunity to focus on clay full time, something I had long wanted to do. After settling with my family in Palo Alto, I established a studio in Mountain View, "Plum Tree Pottery". Working in the shade of a yellow plum tree, I concentrated on developing distinct forms and glazes.

In 1989 I moved my studio to a warehouse in downtown Palo Alto where the evolution of my work continued. Recognizing that my warehouse studio would not be available much longer, my family and I moved 7 miles west to Portola Valley in 1993. We immediately made plans to build a studio at home. I now have the pleasure of making pots in a studio of my own design.

I enjoy making pots for everyday use; each is a subtle variation of a form - usually thrown in a series. I am a perfectionist (as much as the process allows) and am constantly in search of the perfect surface and ideal form while striving to create pots that have life and vitality. I have a casserole included in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.


Quyle Kilns Award for Function, California Clay Competition, The Artery, Davis CA
  Purchase Award - ‘Feats of Clay’, Lincoln Arts Gallery,
Lincoln, CA

People's Choice – Favorite Dinnerware, ‘Dinnerworks 08’,
Louisville, KY


Honorable Mention, “Made by Hand, Meant for Use”, ARC  Exhibitions, Andrews Univ., Berrien Springs, MI


Award of Merit, California State Fair,
Sacramento, Ca


Best Functional, “State of Clay”, Lexington Arts and Crafts Society, Lexington, Ma


Purchase Award, “Focus on Function”, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN



Baulines Craft Guild
Master Craftsperson 

Association of Clay & Glass Artists of California
Exhibiting Member Board of Directors 1981-present, President 1991-1993

Craft Emergency Relief Fund
 Board of Directors 1992 - 1997

National Council on Education in the Ceramics Arts

Ceramics Monthly
 Editorial Advisory Board


American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona , CA
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT
Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Claudia Chapline, Stinson Beach, CA
Virginia Breier, San Francisco, CA
The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN
Forrest Merrill, Berkeley, CA
Kay Sekimachi, Berkeley, CA
Bermuda National Gallery, Hamilton, Bermuda

Please click here MS Word version of Jan's Resume