This is a trailer for a 24-minute documentary about Clary Illian's pottery shop in Ely, Iowa.
Through five decades Clary Illian has sustained herself through her pottery. Today she continues to build her career in small-town Iowa.
Born in Sioux City, she grew up in Cedar Rapids and attended the University of Iowa ('63). She returned to the states after a post-college apprenticeship with pottery legends Bernard and Janet Leach in St. Ives, UK. She has become a role model for ceramic artists interested in developing a self-sustaining practice.
In Ely, she set up a studio and gallery in an historic Oddfellow's Hall where she also lived for 24 years above her pottery shop.
In 1998, she published _A Potter's Workbook_, a philosophical guide to designing and creating functional pots, which has become a popular resource for pottery practitioners.
By her description she is "grounded in utility" and fires pots, works clay or trims and glazes pots each day.
While walking her dog in February 2008 she fell on an icy sidewalk and was sidelined for two months as the bones healed in her wrist. During her recovery she began writing a mystery novel. The project was a departure from her previous book on pottery, but provided a welcome distraction from the rehabilitation and cold winter.
Following her recovery, she began scaling back her studio practice. She down-sized from two large kilns to a lower temperature electric kiln and started a new vein of work.
This is the story of her semi-retirement.
The project is scheduled to be released in Feb. 2010.