(Or: mountains, clay, mountains, bourbon, clay, mountains, clay)

I recently took a little jaunt down to Montana—to visit a couple of schools for the great MFA search, check out the clay scene in general, and, of course, see the Archie Bray Institute.

After my 40-hour driving odyssey to get from Ontario to Alberta, the 7 hours from Medicine Hat to Missoula was a comparative breeze; although I must admit, that I wasn’t quite prepared for the massive stretches of landscape where no human habitation was evident… Montana is the 4th largest state in size, but ranks only 44th population wise (its population finally passed 1 million in 2012!).

Needless to say, it is a beautiful place, and, even though I’ve never been a “mountain kinda gal” (more into lakes personally), I can honestly really see myself living there.  I mean seriously, where else can you find such an amazing concentration of incredible ceramic artists/craftspeople/potters within what is essentially a 3-hour radius? Add to that, beautiful scenery, cheap bourbon, and the ability to buy bottles of wine in your local coffee shop, and I’m pretty much sold.

Both the schools I visited (the University of Montana with Julia Galloway, Trey Hill and Beth Lo, and Montana State University with Josh DeWeese and Jeremy Hatch) have great people and programs, so I’m going to have some tough choices ahead…

Here are a few pics from my trip:

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