Tena feels fortunate that she and her husband Bob live among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains "The High Country" in Boone North Carolina located near the Catawba Valley area that is so rich in pottery heritage.
Tena has been working in clay since 1988. Her first experience working in clay was with a potter named Ole Joe Clark in Franklin, NC. Beginning studies were with potter Tom Marsh at the University of Louisville in KY. She has stayed active with the learning of new clay technics by pursuing various pottery workshops of interest which have added to the development of her work.
As a child, she experienced the Artisan way of life from family members who were coppersmiths and furniture makers. She carried the love of that handcrafting Artisan lifestyle from childhood into her own craft expression by being a potter.
As a functional potter, she works in stoneware clay and focus on a variety of forms that are hand-built, wheel-thrown and gently altered creating unique shapes one piece at a time. Tena maintains clean and simple forms with a contemporary feel allowing the pieces to be used in daily life, as well as for special occasions. Her blue and patina green glazes, with the layered glazing technique, gives a Reduction fired appearance of being fired with gas or wood, when in fact the pottery pieces are fired in an electric kiln around 2100 degrees.
When creating new pieces, she has a basic form in mind which evolves along the way. It is exciting to observe the process and experience the challenge that comes from pushing the clay in the directions of its limit. As the clay is worked, the process establishes shape making each pot truly one of a kind.