We had the good fortune of connecting with Carole Berhorst and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carole, why did you pursue a creative career?
My love for handmade pottery began when I was a child. I was in the home of a friend who’s mom had pottery all through the house and thought how warm and comfortable it made me feel. In college my first major was in interior decorating and studied history of furniture etc. and worked as an assistant in two different design studios. After realizing the challenges of customers demands I switched my major to psychology and journalism….graduated and then went after a masters degree in psychology and took a pottery class at night. The upshot is I became a potter and doing art fairs by chance and luck…..dropped out of my masters program and am now in my 41st year of doing art fairs, many private orders, and some galleries. I work in many series and over 40 different functional serving pieces. I have met incredible people over the years and taken incredible workshops at Anderson Ranch at Snow Mass, Colorado. . My cousin-sister Lori Dresner is also an amazing clay artist and gave me my first kiln when she went away to college…those many years ago. She and I share this passion and that is particularly special in a close family relationship.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve always appreciated functional, handmade pottery, so when I started taking pottery classes, I became obsessed with mastering the wheel….it was a big challenge for me but I stayed with it. I believe that when you love creating and put yourself out there and get acceptance and appreciation it keeps motivating you to grow and improve and push yourself. I think the thing that sets me apart is that I am able to create different series or designs or work and explore with many shapes that still are comfortable to use everyday. It keeps me excited to be in my studio but, I do not stop doing series people still collect. I sincerely want to keep my customers happy and let them know they are important to me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I live in Michigan,BUT, I consider Colorado my second home. I moved to Aspen when I was in my early 20’s. I lived and worked there for about 2 years and then I moved back to Michigan to finish my education. So, my sister-cousin Lori and my daughter Alisa’s Godmother ,Jane Walsh, who both live in Denver are the ones to ask about the amazing city of Denver! We still own a place in Aspen and for us it would be about the town and ALL the amazing trails we have hiked!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I love handmade pottery and so in my later 20’s I took a pottery class and became addicted to learning the wheel. My cousin Lori Dresner gave me her small kiln and my husband Jerry bought me a kick wheel I use to this day. After that, I was practicing on my wheel when I wasn’t taking our daughter to school or her dance classes or t ball or gymnastics etc…….I was giving pots away to everyone. I was invited to do an Art Fair and said I don’t do that , but was talked into it….I won awards, got my name in the paper and began getting invites to shows,, more awards and finally dropped out of the masters program I was in and decided to see if doing art fairs would work…..it did , it has and my success is due to those close to me and all the encouragement I get from the customers over the years. I feel very grateful and appreciative that I get to do the work I love the most! It is still a great passion and desire to continue and keep learning. It has also been very satisfying to have mentored some and I hope to continue doing that as well. And to my husband and daughter Alisa for their love and support.
Instagram: Carole Berhorst
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Facebook: Carole Berhorst
Other: The many customers I’ve had over the years contact me through my website or email address….firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just contact me by phone…..248-563-7410, or my landline….248-851-7032…….. I know that’s not the trend today but fortunately I started at a time when addresses and phone numbers were the thing and even though I want to add to the people who haven’t seen my work, I have a great fan base, thank God, because of the strange time we are going through and cancelled events.
I made a video series called The Making of a Functional Potter, and I will be converting it to digital soon