Janet Stever

My journey into clay began in Tucson, Arizona. It was there that I attended a ceramic class at the park and recreation center.  It wasn’t long before I purchased a wheel and a kiln. The southwest has had a tremendous influence on me.  I have southwest paintings and a few pieces of Native American potery in my home. While in Arizona, I began making the fetish bears. According to Native Americans the bear symbolizes strength, wisdom, and is revered for its sacred healing powers.


Our family moved to Colorado in the early eighties. I began taking ceramic classes at Loretto Heights, Arapahoe Community College, the Arvada Center as well as various pottery workshops. After a few years, I went back to teaching full time and received a master’s degree in education. Little time was left to pursue my love of ceramics.

After retiring, I was excited to return to Arapahoe Community College where I participate in raku, saggar and pit firings. This has allowed the fetish bears to have a variety of colors caused by the natural elements and fumes from the firing.  In addition to the bears, I throw functional pieces of pottery, including bowls, mugs, and trays. They are intended to be used. Depending on the size and shape, these pieces have a purpose in my daily life.

Failing eyesight and going blind in my left eye has slowed me down, but my love for ceramics is still there. I hope to continue working with clay and develop my own style of functional and nonfunctional pottery.  Taking classes and attending workshops has increased my knowledge and skills, thus encouraging me to continue my journey in the world of clay.