Leona Beddow was born in Iowa and now resides in Amarillo, Texas, with her husband, Dean, a practicing optometrist/owner of Broome Optical in Amarillo.

AT THE WHEEL – Leona has the clay centered and is ready to open up. Essentially every wheel-thrown piece starts this way regardless of the finish.

Art has played a major role in her life since her early years eventually resulting in a Master of Arts degree with emphasis on line drawing and a minor in photography from then West Texas State University in Canyon. It wasn't until her retirement from Amarillo College in 2006 that she began to have the time and the desire to try her hand at clay.

MAKING CLAY – Leona with bags of clay "logs" made at Amarillo College. She continues to enroll and study at AC under Olson on an audit basis. Each student is required to make their own clay from dry ingredients. This represents enough clay for four or five students.

Auditing an academic class in ceramics, she says, "I remember that spring semester 2007 at Amarillo College studying under Dennis Olson. I really thought we would start on the wheel right away but instead we learned how to make clay. That was followed by learning how to make pinch pots. Then we extruded coils to make pots . . . and we used the slab roller for hand building pots, and it wasn't until mid-semester that we got on the wheel to throw. What a challenge! It was all a challenge.

"Some of the students had a background in working with clay in high school. And even though I have a master's degree in art, clay was never part of my studies," she said.

Her first pieces were small and crude. "I still have some of those," she said, "as a reminder of where I've been and how far I've come. I haven't arrived by any means but I'm enjoying the journey, the process and watching God use this talent He has given me."

In the Clay • Galleries at Sunset Center #38 • 3701 Plains Blvd. • Amarillo TX 79102 • 806.681.7441
Email: milagrobeddow110@gmail.com

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