When JT found out about Inspirations Studio, she was at a homeless shelter. That was almost a decade ago. Since that time, her creative work and self-image have flourished. Although she had long been a painter and writer, JT claims, “I never called myself an artist before. I didn’t believe I was an artist. But I found my place here. Pottery helps me stay grounded and has helped me emotionally by unravelling my trauma.”

JT makes functional pottery – “things that have a purpose.” She delights in the knowledge that the objects she “makes from nothing” become connected to people and their everyday routines. “It brings me joy that people are using the objects in their life.” This sense of purpose is mirrored in her own life. As her work evolved, so did her attitude. JT attributes her time at Inspirations with a new sense of responsibility and positive outlook on life. “I pay for my clay. I own what I do. I earned it. It wasn’t given to me for free. I’m in a happy place in my life. I haven’t been homeless again since the program. I love being a potter. It has kept me alive and given me purpose.”

JT supports herself by selling at a number of stores, through the shop at Inspirations Studio, and through corporate orders. She also sells outside Sistering on Bloor Street on the weekend. She values these chances to sell as well as the space to create. “Where else could you get an opportunity like this?!” she asks. “It’s hard to be an artist in Toronto.”

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