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  • Meet Al Tyrrell

Al Tyrrell • Pottery •

Meet Al Tyrrell

Al Tyrrell at work

Al Tyrrell

working with clay

Clay has had an influence in my life since I was fourteen. I was allergic to the Iowa farm I grew up on. Summers were spent in the basement, reading old Ceramic Monthly's and consuming chocolate malts. When I was sixteen I applied to a number of summer pottery classes out of state. Because of my age I was turned down by all of them but one: a five week pottery class taught by Rose Naranjo in Taos, New Mexico. In 1972 I headed west to a place nobody had ever heard of, with a dream of becoming a potter.

After the pottery workshop, I spent my senior year counting the days until I graduated. I'd found a landscape I could live in and it wasn't Iowa. I wanted to return to the southwest. I began college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff the summer of 1973. Two years later I dropped out to live in a tipi in the mountains of northern New Mexico. During this time I worked as potter's apprentice to Taos potter, Willard Spence. When the winter of 1976 started the house I now live in fell into my lap. I had never heard of Dixon, New Mexico but I moved in and set up shop.