My passion for pottery started back in 2006 when I attended Saint Andrew's Episcopal boarding school in Sewanee, TN. I enrolled in my first clay class not knowing the impact it would have on my life. I studied under Clair Reishman, who is the head ceramics instructor at the school. Clair also runs a well-known art workshop every summer called Shakerag Workshops. After graduating in 2007, I spent the summer interning with Rob Gentry, a local potter in my home town of Pendleton, SC. Rob has been in business for himself for almost 40 years as a ceramics artist.
In late 2007, I enrolled in a professional pottery program in Edgefield, SC, that was adjoined with Piedmont Technical College. The program was called "Creative Economics for Professional Pottery." Gary Clontz, the head instructor, came from Haywood Community College in NC. Gary ran their ceramics program for nearly 30 years before moving to Edgefield to help jump-start the new clay program at Piedmont Tech. I spent 2 years of intensive study at the school with the only focus being on all things clay! After graduating in December of 2007, I set up my own studio in North Augusta, SC. I started interning with Shishir Chokshi at Tire City Potters in downtown Augusta, GA.
In 2015, I took over as temporary studio manager of Tire City before I left in January of 2016. For the next year, I worked to expand my skills by working at a local drug and alcohol treatment facility using clay as a means of therapy. This brings me to September of 2017, when i finally launched my own clay business, Hickman Pottery!