My name is Haddie Hadachek. I own Black Bear Pottery between Garrison and Brainerd, MN. I built the pottery in 1985 and have been a full time potter since 1986.

I grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Colorado. That would not seem to groom a person for a life as a clay artist. It did, however provide me with a strong work ethic, a need for independence, the ability to make my own decisions, and a penchant for conquering challenges. I went to college first at CSU in Fort Colllins, Colo. as a geology major. After a few art courses and my first ceramics class, I changed my major to Art. After dropping out to work for a while, I moved to Flagstaff, Az. and attended Northern Az. Univ. This is where I received my most valuable training and most lasting influences. Again, I ran out of money and returned to working. These lapses in schooling were, in retrospect, beneficial. I held a variety of jobs that broadened my base of knowledge that would come in handy in the pottery business. I worked construction, waited tables, was a welder, worked in the auto parts business, was a bookkeeper at a recycling center and at a pharmacy and was a laborer at numerous places.

In 1977 I moved to Minnesota. After too many injuries at the paper mill that I worked at, I quit and started Black Bear Pottery in 1986. In 1987 I decided I could juggle both business and school so I returned to college, this time at St Cloud State. Finally in 1989 I got my BFA in ceramics!

Over the last few years, my business has grown and changed as any moderately successful venture does. I used to do quite a few art fairs. Now, I don't do any. I do make my entire living from my pottery but now the largest share of income comes from the customers who come to the studio to shop. Other activities that are included in my profession are mentorships, gallery exhibits, workshops and slide presentations. Every year I go to NCECA, which is a national conference of ceramic artists and educators. This is held in a different city every year and includes lectures, demonstrations, exhibits and is very good for recharging the creative batteries and visiting with other potter friends. I'm very active in Potters For Peace. I'm on the board of directors of that organization. Potters for Peace is a non-profit organization made up of North American potters helping the potters of Nicaragua and other Latin American countries.

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