"My love affair with clay started at the age of 10 when I watched a potter work on the wheel," writes Julia Dean, director of the Clay School in Ithaca. "It wasn’t until college, however, that I took my first pottery class. With a degree in education from Murray State University, I combined a passion for creating and a love of teaching by sharing this craft in studios in Texas, North Carolina, and New York. I have continued my education over the years at Texas Christian University, Penland School of Crafts, and Chautauqua Institution."Working out of my home studio, I craft handmade functional ceramics for over fifty retail stores nationwide. These pieces are decorated with the use of natural objects such as shells and leaves. No two pieces are ever the same." Julia adds that she is committed to creating high quality, stylish, and affordable handmade pottery that her customers will enjoy using in their everyday lives.