We are thrilled to have Alan join us as our newest apprentice. He arrived back in August along with his girlfriend, Annie, and their cat, Monty. Here is an intro to Alan, in his own words...
I grew up in Southern California in a town called Thousand Oaks, not far from LA. Both of my parents were involved in a scientific field, which contributed to my interest in math and science. Additionally, I always enjoyed creating things with my hands. My brother and I used to sculpt little things using polymer clay and bake them in the oven.
I had the chance to sculpt projects from stoneware clay during ceramics class in middle school. Finally, when I entered high school I was able to try using a pottery wheel, and was immediately enchanted by the idea of making perfectly round, hollow objects using my bare hands and a simple tool. From that point on, I devoted most of my free time as a student to experimenting with clay.
A passion for understanding the human brain and human behavior drove me to study behavioral neuroscience at Northeastern University. During this time, I had the opportunity to work and study in multiple laboratories in Boston. I was rewarded by the work because it gave me the opportunity to perform hands on experimentation, and allowed me to embrace the process of trial and error. After receiving my bachelor's degree, I decided to take a job teaching biology and mathematics at a boarding school in Minnesota.
I was exposed to the process of wood firing pottery during my two years in Minnesota. For a summer I assisted a potter in Wisconsin who had a connection to Joseph Sand. Ultimately, I decided to call Joseph about an apprenticeship, and agreed to move out and start working at the beginning on Fall 2017. Now, I live in Joseph and Amanda's guest house with my wonderful partner, Annie, who is making cheese at a nearby dairy. We also have a cat named Montgomery. Life is good!
I asked Alan a few questions so we could get to know him a little better...
If you could reincarnate into anything what would you choose?
One of those deep sea fish, just to see whats happening down there.
What is your favorite food?
A fatty, slow-cooked hunk of meat.
Favorite place to vacation?
My home in Southern California.
Tell us a random fact about you
I used to play the trombone.
Biggest Pet Peeve?
I cannot think of one.
You and Annie like wine...do you have a favorite region/variety?
It's hard to choose a favorite, but I am a big fan of Grenache. It is grown in Spain, the Rhone region in France, and parts of California. It is a stable for many classic blends and spectacular on its own!