In the early 1980s Ritva, newly arrived from Finland where she had trained as a pharmacist, appeared at my pottery studio in New York. She was looking for a place to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a ceramic artist. One of my first students, she was a testament to the Chinese proverb: Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. As soon as I opened the door, she was off and running…and quickly left me in the dust.
After graduating from student to apprentice to studio manager while I took time out with my newborn daughter, she moved to Houston, Texas. There, she received her MFA in ceramics and made a name for herself as an artist.
Then, I left New York and she returned to Finland, and for a decade we lost track of each other.
Last March, as I was planning a summer vacation in Ireland, she phoned–out of the blue–and invited me to visit her in Lappeenranta, where she has a studio and a lovely though tiny apartment.
Here are some photos I took of our reunion.
A feast…on Ritva’s handmade ware
Ritva’s mural at Lappeenranta University of Technology
At the fish market
Ritva’s handmade ware
Lisa and Ritva on a woodland trail
A dream achieved