Lance's Journal: Doane's Ceramic Specialist, Mar. 14, 2014

Eric Stearns grew up on a farm near North Platte. And while most kids who grow up on a farm enjoy playing in the mud. Eric was not like most kids. He preferred sports to bailing hay.

But, in a strange twist of fate, Eric is now 33 years old, and rarely does a day go buy when his hands aren't covered in clay, "In high school, I was actually told by my high school teacher that I was really bad at clay and that was primarily because I didn't like getting dirty so it was that little nudge that really got me interested. I really dreaded coming to Doane and having to take a pottery class, but I was going to overcome it."

And he has done just a very beautiful way, "I currently specialize in throwing on the potters wheel. Taking a mound of clay and just transforming it into a functional or non-functional decorative piece."

Eric was a soccer player at Doane in 2000 and that's when his fascination with ceramics was reignited, "After graduating, I went back to North Platte and my grandparents ranch, worked on the ranch and with some of my graduate money, bought a kiln, bought a wheel and started a studio in my dad's garage."

Eric has enjoyed a lot of success selling his art of the past decade, "I love what I do as far as making art and being able to exhibit it in galleries, museums, sell it at fairs."

But as enjoyable and lucrative as that may be, this assistant professor's heart is still in the classroom, "The most rewarding part of my career would have to be what I'm currently doing as far as educating students."