• Last modified 1587 days ago (Feb. 19, 2020)


Artists find creative passion working with ceramics

Staff writer

Pamela and Tom Voth didn’t realize they found a lifelong passion when they started working with ceramics a decade ago.

“It’s cool to be able to have a hobby we do together,” Pamela said.

Tom planned to quit after a few months to continue his stained glass work. Now, however, they hope to keep making pottery as long as possible.

I hear of people retiring and then they don’t know what to do,” Pamela said. “They don’t want to sit at home and while away their days. We’re so thankful that we can hopefully keep doing ceramics until we’re 95.”

While the Voths’ interests overlap, Tom prefers working with tiles and geometric shapes, and Pamela focuses largely on pottery.

“I majored in art to start with,” she said. “I think I tend to be the more freewheeling one.”

While they have a few decades until they reach their 90s, the Voths’ experience comes an understanding that there is always more to learn, Tom said.

“There are always more ideas than you put into practice,” he said. “There are lots of ideas, and I don’t tend to write them down like I should.”

Despite his love of working with tile, Tom said he finds almost as much enjoyment in creating tools. Many of his pieces are clay stamps, which are then used to roll a pattern onto another piece.

“I just keep adding to it,” he said. “I carve and then roll it into a slab. These look so cool when they’re actually used.”

When Pamela started teaching ceramics at Tabor College it gave them a work space to continue making art.

Her four years at Tabor have also helped in their interactions with students, as the Voths have gradually become more familiar, Pamela said.

“When I started teaching at Tabor, students would hardly talk to us,” she said. “Now we’ve been around long enough and gotten to know enough students.”

They view exhibitions as a long shot, but the ultimate goal would be to display work at a professional exhibit, Tom said.

“It would be kind of cool to have a piece of pottery in a museum somewhere,” he said. “That probably won’t happen, but it would just be cool.”

Last modified Feb. 19, 2020