Valerie Banes Hancock earned her BFA in Ceramics and Photography from the University of Oklahoma and her MFA in Ceramics from the University of North Texas. She is currently the Ceramics Visual Art Technician and an Adjunct Professor at UNT where she manages the ceramics facilities and teaches undergraduate ceramics classes. She also tries to find time to work in her home studio whenever she isn’t chasing her toddler around the house. My functional pottery is wheel thrown and altered porcelain, high fired to cone 10 in a soda kiln. I particularly enjoy the way that the altered forms displace liquid and food out of the round and into unique and individual shapes. To emphasize those altered forms, I utilize the soda during the firing to offer a contrast in satin and glossy surfaces making the piece not only visually interesting but also tactilely engaging. By creating functional altered dinner and serving-ware, I hope to inspire people to slow down, examine and enjoy, while restoring, creating or simply embracing the bonds between family and friends.