About Lahla

I’ve loved art since the moment I held my first crayon, so having my own working pottery studio is a dream come true.

While my academic background is in journalism and liberal studies, there has never been a time when I was not an art student. Growing up, I attended the many after-school art classes my mother taught, then crammed in as many art credits as I could in high school and college. Brief lessons in clay had always been a part of school and extra-curricular art classes, but when I signed up for a throwing class as an undergrad at the University of Tennessee, I knew I had found something really special.

The class required hours of practice and late nights in the studio. The process of working with clay was all-consuming—waiting for a piece to be just the right balance between wet and dry to apply a handle or turn a foot, covering and uncovering pots so they’d be ready for kiln firing, planning glaze colors and then applying them. I spent a whole semester covered in mud. I loved it. I signed up again.

After graduation, I got a job as a copy editor at a local newspaper in my hometown of Johnson City, TN. I didn’t have to go in until 3 p.m. every day, so I bought some clay and glazes, and started experimenting with hand building (since I had no wheel) in my kitchen. I made utensil holders for my mother, mirrors in ceramic frames for my friends, and anything else I could think of. I also spent a lot of time (just as I had in college) painting all the old furniture that filled my apartment. I loved transforming a sad, old wooden coffee table into a bright, original work of art.

I discovered that what I loved about making pottery or painting furniture was that I was creating something I needed and could use. And so began my love affair with functional art.

When I went to graduate school for a liberal studies program, I made sure to incorporate ceramics classes into my curriculum. I worked on my hand-building skills and developed some lesson plans so I could share with others the amazing feeling of being able to make simple, functional forms with little more than a rolling pin and a bit of practice.

Finally, I’ve ended up back here in Knoxville, where I continue to experiment with my favorite art forms and share them with others. I have a lifetime of passion for the arts and so much love for what I do—I hope it shows in my work!

I currently live and work in Knoxville, TN, but am originally from Johnson City, TN. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2004), and a Master of Liberal Studies degree with a focus in non-profit arts organizations from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City (2008).