I have a love/hate relationship with writing. I adore words, any and all words. I was told at an early age that I had a talent for it and that it was what I should concentrate on as I grew up, so I did.

Pomegranate Ice
10 x 10 inches
Mixed Media Layered glass
© 2011 Pat Mitchell
Private Collection

By the time my first year in college rolled around I was in a university I vehemently hated (chosen FOR me rather than BY me) in a degree program I despised, following in the footsteps of a relative who was a questionable human being . . . because I was told I had a talent for it.

I rebelled like most young people do, by dropping out of that college after a year.  I wanted to make and pay my own way in a direction that made no sense to anyone but me.  I worked for a time to raise money to pay my own way through college, and then returned to a much different university to obtain a Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in Ceramics.

Is there any more useless degree in the world?  No classified ads for corporate potters, no openings in anything for which I was remotely trained.  I never felt compelled to teach art anywhere, so I never pursued a Master’s degree.  I wanted to DO, not to teach.

Fast forward more than a quarter century and I have yet to put my degree to use.  Not the ceramics part, anyway.  I use the design and fine arts portions of it daily in my pursuit of producing mosaic art.  I occasionally pick up pieces of polymer clay and sculpt them to my wishes.  But true ceramics/pottery?  Not for a moment.

My degree was not wasted, not by any means measurable.  Most importantly, it serves as a shining reminder that I CHOSE what I wanted to do with my life and did it by my own means and ambition.  I paid back every cent of student loans granted to me, and now produce works of beauty and light that come straight from my head and my heart.

If I had followed the path set before me all those years ago, I’m sure I would now be a burned out drunk clinging to my job in the newsroom of a television station or a newspaper office as the world around me made me irrelevant.

I’m happy with the path I’ve chosen and followed.




2 thoughts on “How I got here

  • October 22, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Oh Pat! I can relate completely to what you’ve written here. I also got an education in something which was utterly useless (bacteriology). I felt that I HAD to…because everyone told me I was so smart and smart girls do science. And instead of being pushed by a questionable human being, I married one. So for years and years I lived a life that wasn’t me at all. Things are all better now and like you, I’m busy creating the life I want. I’m so glad you’re not that drunk in the newsroom. You bring much joy to others now by living your dream life. Your work is really inspiring to me. Keep it up!

  • October 23, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Hi Pat!

    I think your new and improved website is wonderful – a real pleasure to browse through. Your way with words is evident and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you and your artistic journey. The banner image on the homepage is gorgeous!


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