Liz Kinder Home
About Liz Kinder

frilly white
black mountain

1969 Born December 17.

1977 Jealous of 2nd grade classmate's pencil drawing of a deer; give up hope for artistic career.

1984 Go to Phillips Academy as a boarder; start making pottery with Mrs. Bensley to avoid alternative pastimes that may result in expulsion.

1987 Go to Amherst College, no ceramics, get a Fine Arts BA in painting, take a ceramics class at UMass my senior year, am reminded of my calling.

1991 Move to San Francisco and do anything to avoid getting a “real job”.

1992 Get studio space at Ruby’s Clay Studio.

1994 Go on one of those ridiculous trips: cycling for 5 months with Irish boyfriend from Guadalajara, Mexico to San Jose, Costa Rica; have cliché travelling epiphany about making ceramics my life.

1995 Sell bike to chef, Joseph Manzare; during transaction in seeing my fabulous apartment, he orders bowls, platters and a massive vase for his new restaurant in San Francisco, Globe.

1996-1998 Get so many orders from the exposure I have at Globe. Business is booming.

1997 Apply to graduate school and am accepted, have a huge going away party during which I break my arm falling off the bar dancing to Gary Glitter.

1998 Arrive in London at the Royal College of Art in a sling and start my Masters Course.

1998-2001 Live in poverty in London eating ramen (pot noodles as they say) again.

2000 Trumpets and fanfare (literally) at The Royal Albert Hall, I get my masters degree from the Ceramics and Glass department.

2001 Bunny, my Volvo, martyrs herself to the cause of my ceramics business and gets totaled by a drunk dot-comer in a rented Jaguar. Insurance money goes to buy 2 kilns to set up a summer studio at my mom's in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts. I now pot in my bikini for two months a year knowing that both San Francisco and London are foggy and wretched.

2002 Win Merit Award to do Rosen show in Philadelphia and start my wholesale career.

2003 Made pots and tried not to drop friends' new babies

2004 Piled clay, glazes, furniture and loud Siamese cat into my brother's truck and moved to Philadelphia. Had a 5000 lb. kiln installed THROUGH A WINDOW into a
ridiculously massive building that I can't really afford. I am planning to buy it in 2005 anyway...

2005 Becoming one of those boring people who talks about IKEA kitchen options, drywall, plumbing, utilities, mortgages, and the benefits of radiant heat. Despite the cold, I am not missing San Francisco—just my hairdresser, my dentist, my friends
and the scintillating person I was before the above-mentioned topics consumed me...

2006 Gave birth to Jack Peter McDonald on Mother’s Day. (May 14) I married Tim McDonald, his dad, and the love of my life, on October 28 (Jack Peter was the best man). The more you gush about how stunning my son is, the better and more timely your order will be. Don’t hesitate to tell me that I haven’t changed a bit since those pre-pregnancy pictures of me either.

2007 Halloween! Had baby girl, Elizabeth Steel McDonald (Steel)

2008 Trying to keep it all together. Trying to have another baby. Trying not to let my clay/diaper changing induced excema get out of hand. Trying to embrace the fact that my son says the word “backhoe” at least 98 times a day. At least he still will do dress-up too. I think his leotard look is very Bowie...

2009 Had Baby Toby (girl) in October. I decided to stop having employees in the studio because I couldn't have my life be babysitting at home and babysitting at work. What this means is that my studio is a lot messier and I can't blame anything on anyone but myself. We moved from the loft above my studio into one of my architect husband's gorgeous houses. I feel ridiculously fancy although I have to drive at 5 am back to the ghetto to turn kilns on. I wonder if the crack heads all think I'm one of them. I am looking pretty rough these days...

2010 I had Toby in the studio with me for most of the year sitting in her little neglecto-matic listening to Terry Gross. I also started blogging about the chaos of my existence. I spent a good part of the year panicking about the Philadelphia Public School system.

2011 Did not have a 4th child...not for lack of trying. I instead put my creative energy into making a ridiculous amount of pottery and a kick-ass R2D2 Halloween costume for my kindergartener. There are so many Halloweens ahead of us. I fear I may have peaked too soon.

2012 Got the kids into a good charter school. We are now free to continue living our creative, urban lives. It also means that the kids are stuck on a bus for hours a day. I'm clinging to a tiny little NPR clip I heard on the benefits of daydreaming for children. Tim, my husband, fell off a roof which plummeted him into an early onset midlife crisis.

2013 Make breakfasts, lunches, snacks for school. Go to studio and make pots. Get kids, sort out homework and dinner and hope I didn't scream HURRY UP! too many times in the day. Collapse on couch with Tim in front of something from Netflix. Tim's response to above crisis was to get a teaching job at Temple University, so now he has 3 full-time gigs: daddy, architect, teacher. Things have been a little crazy… I also am selling more pottery on my blog:


jack peter

website by Dotgarden / photos by Tim McDonald, Debra St John and Steve Belkowitz


Evie Leder web Design Debra St. John