Makayla Whitney, Manchester High School junior casually states, “I like to stay busy”. With field hockey, Student Council, Key Club, DECA Club, National Honor Society, German Club, Drama Club, Band, Flag Corps, and her church Youth Group, it is hard to imagine Makayla has extra time to commit to a serious hobby.
In sixth grade, while living with her family in Singapore, Makayla took up pottery. Upon returning to Manchester, she continued her pottery with a teacher in Saline. Wanting more of a challenge, Makayla began lessons with local potter David Nelson. Somehow, she finds time each week to work in his studio.
When asked why she enjoys pottery, Makayla expressed that pottery is a relaxing outlet. It provides her with a good release for stress and is comforting.
Ideas for what to create usually come by way of friends and family. Some may ask, “Have you ever done this?” Or, “Can you make this for me?” Makayla happily follows through. Her pottery is usually made for someone as a gift, like a set of cups for her mom, or at someone’s request, like the set of plates made for her aunt. The piece Makayla likes most she calls her “Tree Pot”. It is a small pot with an unusal glaze that appears black on the exterior but olive on the interior. Carved on one side of the pot is a tree with leaves. The other side has a tree without leaves. The “Tree Pot” is on display this month at MDL.
Her plans for the future are set. Ultimately, Makayla would like to own a zoo. On her way to this goal, Makayla intends to earn a PhD in Wild Life Biology, and she has determined that the University of Otago in New Zeland is the place to go. She would like to spend her undergrad years at either Utah State or Humbolt in California. Makayla has a strong interest in genetics and brain pathology and intends to study disease and behavior of the brain. Mr. Gerbe, at Manchester High School is the one most responsible for igniting Makayla’s interests in these areas.
Makayla’s pottery is on display, along with art from Mireille Prusak, during the month of April. When you are in the library, take a moment to see the items she has shared with us, like the “Tree Pot” and her “Barnacle Wall Art”.