Ceramics was a favorite of mine as far back as elementary school. The earthy smell of the cool damp clay is certainly part of the allure. I was fortunate enough to have a high school teacher who encouraged exploration in the medium. In college I took a number of ceramics courses, and was introduced to raku, which I immediately took to and I hope to do again someday.
The serendipity of the raku glaze firing process is delightful for me. Even though you sometimes end up with a pretty ugly blob, more often than not you are rewarded with exquisite textures and the vibrant metallic colors produced in a reduction atmosphere.
Since the art form requires a certain amount of space and equipment, I haven't had the opportunity to explore it much since college, but here are a few of the projects I've completed, going all the way back to elementary school.