Almost 2 decades ago and probably 4 or 5 website versions ago, we had a “meet the staff” page, with important things like phone extension (I think we had *just* gotten our phone system at that time….), plus job description, longevity and full/part time status.  There were also some fun things like a “match the little known fact to the staff member” quiz, and lastly, a questionnaire that everyone filled out.  I thought it might be fun to see how much things might change in 19 years, so I’m starting with myself.  If you liked this and want to see more staff members’ then & now responses, be sure to let us know by liking this on facebook, or at the bottom of this post, or just send us an email!

Now here goes……

Question

 

Nickname

 

2001 Answer

 

Cindy (I go by his one), SinDee, Claygirl, Bill Clone

2020 Answer

 

Still Cindy and also Claygirl.  I’ve definitely dropped the alternate spelling “SinDee”, and not too many people still call me Bill Clone.  I’ve also gained “Sophie’s Mom” and “Daphne’s mom”, “Dave’s wife” too, I suppose, plus for undisclosed reasons, I get called “twinkletoes” and “The Swan” from time to time….

Employed Since

 

hmmm?  When was I born?  Actually, I think i started working here in 1988

no change here….

It was definitely aroudn 1988, and my first job was putting together packets of brochures and catalogs from all of the companies we represented into folders for Dad to take to teachers when he would deliver them clay.  This was WAY before websites and even before we had a catalog.

Previous Jobs

 

The Buckle, Maurices, Space Alien, Rocket Scientist

Wow, I really thought i was funny, didn’t I? The Buckle and Maurices are real.  Sadly, The Buckle here in Lawrence where I shopped and worked is now out of business.

Born Where & When

 

Lawrence, KS 9:01am, July 20, 1976

Oddly, this has changed.  Because I got a copy of my actual birth certificate when I got married, and found out it was, in fact, 9:11am when i was born on July 20, 1976.  Younger than i thought i was!  

Favorite Food 

David’s Jambalya, or Cheese Enchiladas from El Ranchito in Seguin, TX

no change here.  Some say it was Dave’s Jambalaya that put the ring on my finger….

Favorite Color 

Green

GREEN???? what was I thinking there?????  Definitely RED is the best color.  It’s also the fastest color. 

Favorite Board Game

 

Trivial Pursuit

Hmm, i don’t have much time for board games.  I do still like the idea of Trivial Pursuit, but it takes quite a while to play….Dave’s always got some good games too, so we play a lot of different things.  Right now he’s got me on something called 7th continent.  I’m not sure it counts as a board game…?  It’s cards, but you lay them out into a board, sort of…it’s pretty cool, and it can be played in short sessions…

Favorite Sport 

To Play: Tennis or Basketball, To Watch: Football

Tennis and Basketball are fun.  Most people know, however, that my main sport is cycling.  I race competitively (as an amateur, obviously) although right now, there’s not really any racing because of Covid-19….

And i do still love to watch football….when i have time.

First Car you drove 

1984 Blue Chevette

that’s not really one that *could* change, so yeah….1984 Blue Chevette.

If you could meet one person

(dead or alive),

who would it be?

Ludwig Van Beethoven

Oh this is a tough one….Beethoven definitely would be interesting.  But I’m not sure he would be the ONE person…besides I’m sure by now, he is completely decomposed.  hahahaha. oh man, i’m sorry for that one.  not really….ummmmmmmm 

I really can’t think of a single person that i really WANT to meet, but the one person I would most love to sit and talk with would be my Dad. 

What’s your sign?

Cancer/Leo – cusp baby

As i’ve gotten older, the cancer characteristics have started to supplant some of the wild leo-esque tendencies of my youth.  But this Lion can still roar from time to time….

Also i really don’t know that much about astrology….

Top 3 Favorite Potters

(dead or alive & unrelated to you)

Hmmm…if my sister was telling the truth when she claimed I was adopted, then I can count Anne & Bill Bracker, but that would probably be cheating (especially given the fact that I look like a female version of my Dad) so I’d have to say my top 3 faves are: Jim Connell, Jim Connell and Jim Connell. No, seriously: Jim Connell, Don Reitz, Steve Branfman

ha. another goofy cindy moment.  All of that is still true for certain.  But again, there’s a *tad* more maturity in me now and I take this question a bit more seriously and thoughtfully.

I love Glenda Taylor.  Her work was inspired by the Kansas Landscape, as well as her personal experiences and throughout her life, her work continued to evolve and change.  It is a reflection of her thoughtfulness and beauty. Beyond her work, though, Glenda is an inspiring potter and person.  A mentor to so many people, both her direct students and any young people with whom she came into contact.  She encouraged, supported and guided me in countless ways, and she’s a model of the kind of person I want to be. 

Naomi Clement would also be on my Top 3 list. She makes beautiful, elegant and skillfully refined handbuilt pottery with surface decoration featuring wild color contrasts and a combination of geometric shapes and scripty, flowy lines.  Like Glenda, she also has a beautiful soul, an open mind, and big heart.  When I drink out of the cup of hers that I own, I feel connected to her and it always makes me smile.

Gosh it’s hard to pick just 3, because there are just SO many amazing potters whom I admire.  I think, though, that Danny Meisinger HAS to be on this list.  All of my dinnerware was made by him, and EVERYTIME I post a food pic on Instagram, I get as many comments about the ceramics as I do about the recipe.  I’ve known Danny since i was little….he goes back to the days when my Dad was around, and much like my Dad advised, encouraged and challenged Danny, so too does he for me.  And whenever he calls to order supplies, we go down a rabbit hole of conversation ranging from aesthetics to philosophy to social media how-tos (and shoulds?).  Sometimes we talk about kids and parenting too.   He is always energetic and upbeat, and he learns from every experience he has, and openly shares his knowledge from all of those, both successes and what some would call failures.  Danny is kind of somewhere between an older brother or a young uncle.  I cherish his friendship and mentorship and I LOVE his work.  

Most embarassing moment while working at Bracker’s (PG-rated)

At NCECA 2001 in Charlotte, NC, I approached a nice-looking gentleman who was looking at Ian Currie’s new book, “Revealing Glazes.” to tell him that Ian was one of the GLAZE DOCTORS (a presenter/lecturer) at the conference, and that he would probably autograph it for him.  Then I noticed his nametag, turned bright red and followed my suggestion with… “But then you’re Robin Hopper, so you probably already know that,” and then tried to hide as best I could.

Awww Robin Hopper.  What an amazing man.  GAH!  He should be on that list above too!  Darn that maximum number!!!  Robin passed away several years ago.  The moment I described 19 years ago is still a memory that brings a slightly shy smile to my face.  I’m not so sure it’s as embarrassing as I thought then. It actually was the moment that marked the beginning of a very fortunate friendship with the much revered Robin Hopper.  He, too, remembered that, and I do think that because of that, we were able to get him to come to Bracker’s to do a workshop.  It was one of the last workshops he presented, and I had the honor of having him stay with me.    That was a magical moment.  

I’m not sure i can think of anything recent that has been embarrassing.  I sort of embrace all of my silly moments as part of my charm…

If you were a glaze, what kind of a glaze would you be, and why?

Crystalline – because they are unpredictavle, have a lot of depth and variety, and they are really pretty.  <grin>. My sister thinks that it’s also because crystalline glazes are kind of runny, but then I slugged her and she took back her comment.

I think maybe an Oxblood fired in a Raku kiln maybe?  Or one of the old lead red glazes, also fired in Raku, because 1. red is fast, 2. raku is fast, 3. i am also short on time, so i need to be fast and efficient….(bright, shiny & beautiful doesn’t hurt either)

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Anne W Bracker, how much of a pyro are you?

About a 20 – I have Dad’s genes, too.

Um the new scale is 1 to Cindy.  Not sure there are people with more love of fire than I have.  

Favorite eating estabilishment in Lawrence:

Paisano’s, G. Willikers, Mad Greek, depending on my mood

Awwww I miss G. Willikers! I  had forgotten about that place.  It was SOOOO yummy!  Mad Greek is still favorite.  Gosh, there are so many great restaurants in Lawrence.  Burger Stand, Free State Brewery, Lawrence Brewing Company (I honestly do like those two for their food and ambience.  I’m not really a big beer drinker!) Jayhawker Club at the Eldridge.  Basically anything on Mass St. is my favorite…..

Favorite Store in Lawrence (other than Brackers)

Waxman Candles

Probably still Waxman Candles.  But like the restaurant question above, there are so many great stores in Lawrence, Downtown and throughout the city.  I like to shop local as much as I can.  It seems that Lawrence has a local store for anything I need, so i rarely have to look to online sources!

Favorite brand of toothpaste

Mentadent Advanced Whitening

Do they still make Mentadent?  I think I use Crest these days…

Favorite TV Show

Need you ask?  ER!

Well ER has been off the air for a while, but i still do enjoy medical dramas.  I am definitely a fan of Grey’s Anatomy.  Perennial Favorite thought might have to be Golden Girls….(?)

Favorite movie

The as-yet-unmade story of my oh-so-interesting life (Julia Roberts already played on Lawrence girl in “Erin Brockovitch,” why wouldn’t she want to play another Lawrence native?). Barring that, my other favorite movie is “The American President”

Pretty sure that when I said American President, I was trying to score points with Dave.  My favorite movie was and always will be Real Genius. It was love at first sight  when i first saw it at around 12 years old.  I am pretty sure i find a way to quote it weekly if not daily.

College major/degree

Bachelor of Music Education, Graduate Spring 2002

Yep, that happened.  I did, in fact, actually gradute with my BME in 2002.  

Favorite reindeer

Vixen, but I said it first.  Dave stole the idea from me.

Hmmm.  It’s probably not Vixen any more. Donner or Blitzen now, it probably depends on the day because somedays I bring the thunder and some i am fast like lightning…

Pets

2 Cats: Princess and Little One

3 Fish: Jaws (a black shark), Jack (a Texas Cichlid), and Hoover (a Pleco)

1 Boyfriend: David

Awwwww Princess and Little One are both gone now.  But Little One actually lived twenty years to the day.  She died one day before her twentieth birthday.  I still miss her.  14 years ago, our family adopted the orphaned kittens of the neighborhood stray.  Hildegaard and Gretchen.  Unfortunately, Gretchie wandered outside several years ago and got lost.  We suspect she was adopted by a nice family.  Hildie is still here, and in July of 2017, we adopted a cute little tortiseshell that we named Fiona.  

No fish right now, but we just decided to get our aquarium back up, so fish will be returning soon and we have a new water feature (small pond with waterfall) in the backyard and we are probably going to be getting some fish or maybe tadpoles for that soon.  And of course, that “pet boyfriend” became a “pet husband” and resulted in some additional “pets”. 🙂 

Place farthest from Lawrence you’ve ever visited:

London, England (if you exclude my extensive intergallactic travels)

I FINALLY made it to Germany & Austria this past winter (before Covid-19 hit!) and had a GLOROIUS time there.  I’ve been waiting to take that trip for most of my life, and saved up for it for 4 years.  It was worth every penny.

Favorite circus act

trapeze artist

Trapeze artist is still my favorite.  Cirque d’soliel is amazing.  

Eye Color

Green with gold flecks, although Mom says they’re blue-grey (I really think she’s color blind)

pretty much the same as i said before.  some people say my eyes are hazel…

Hair Color

Changable…currently medium dark brown with a hint of red

Strangely enough, at the current moment, this is the same as it was 19 years ago.  Which means it MUST be time for a change.  maybe I’ll go black…..

Favorite ceramics book

As everyone who’s browsed through the books in the store knows, it’s gotta be “Wheel -Thrown Ceramics” by Don Davis

No change here.  Although it is out of print, and we don’t really sell too many ceramics books any more, I still think Don Davis’s book is one of the best.  Odd considering I’m a handbuilder…

Extracurricular High School Activities

Intergallactic travel, drama, band, choir, National Honor Society, German Club, flirting with cute boys

Other than the goofy reference to intergallactic travel, I can’t deny any of that stuff.  

Favorite Cartoon Character

The Thundercats (all of them – but especially Snarf)

Although i do feel like I know Dora the Exporer and her cousin Diego PRETTY darn well, and also the wonderpets (although i don’t think they are technically cartoons), I still put the Thundercats at numero uno.  And definitely, still snarf  the most

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

Anything with LOTS and LOTS of chocolate

This hasn’t changed either.  In fact, there’s an icecream called “Extreme Moose Tracks” that I would do just about anything for.  

What i do when I’m not at work

Study, go to class, smooch with my honey, keep up relations with my alien race and protect the galaxy from rogue space pirates, play piano, try to solve crossword puzzles with Mom, spend time with Dave & Kelli

Well, before Covid-19, I used to do a TON of “unpaid uber driving” for a very small clientele….well, not small, actually, one of them is 6’2″ and the other is 5’10”. but anyway I used to drive them around a LOT. I also enjoy riding my bike, doing landscape work, and cooking for people I love.  

Ceramics experience / preferences

Since my sister stole all the artistic talent in the family gene pool before I was born, it’s a struggle for me, I’m pretty much an amateur when it comes to practical experience, but I like to experiment with glazes (commercial and studio) and surface decoration, and I LOVE Raku (it’s the pyro in me)

I’ve actually spent some time in the past almost two decades working in clay.  I still don’t consider myself much past amateur status, but I have amassed quite a bit of technical knowlege (and continue the pursuit of learning) and I have come a long way in my skill, craftsmanship and practical understanding of the medium.  I mostly handbuild with my slabroller or extruder and focus on functional work, though not necessarily dinnerware.  My time spent with clay is still sporadic due to the demands of running a business, but I do try to use what time i have to not just focus on the product but understanding the process and improving or learning something every chance i get.

Job Description (or, “What I do all day”)

hmmm What DO I do all day?  Everything! No one else around here works!  Just kidding.  Actually I help customers, answer phones, order glazes, tools, books, wheels – basically everything except the clay and chems – process the mail, answer e-mails, but my sister, and finally, find Mom’s coffee and/or glasses.

Oh boy.  This is quite the list of things.  I still LOVE to help customers in the store, on the phone, or via email, but I rarely seem to have time for that anymore.  I manage a TON of administrative tasks ranging from monitoring the inventory levels of every product in the store and ordering stock as necessary to monitoring almost every order that comes in to ensure proper handling of it, to managing all the different marketing avenues, which includes regular posting to facebook and instagram, writing our monthly newsletter, etc. I oversee and manage the clay manufacturing and do research on new clay bodies or improvements of existing ones, Occasionally I mix clay and sometimes I fill orders or build pallets or drive the forklift.  I manage the entire staff and just in general, the whole business, I write training guides & document procedures, create policies as necessary and compile and review dozens of reports weekly, and then there are the fun payroll and tax reporting tasks that i track and perform weekly, biweekly, monthly or quarterly.   Way back when the “find mom’s coffee and/or glasses” was the funny but true responsibility of every staff member.  With everything mom had to juggle remembering, i understand better now why she couldn’t dedicate brain space to tracking where she had left those things.  

Favorite thing about working at Bracker’s

I really like talking to and getting to know my customers, and I have to admit that summer is really cool because the guys take their shirts off when they work.  <wink, wink>

I love the variety of my job.  Every day is different and unpredictable.  I like problem solving and i like searching for the most efficient way to accomplish anything.  Mostly, though, I love the people in this industry.  That hasn’t changed from 19 years ago, and I doubt it will ever change.  Clay people are down to earth. It’s punny, but its true.  

Also SMH about my “guys taking their shirts off comment”… 1. they don’t do that any more. 2. what a statement about how times change.  that comment was not just acceptable but funny in 2001 and probably would be construed as sexual harrassment now.  3. I am WAY more mature now.

Biographical Information

WEBMASTER’S NOTE: Cindy keeps promising me she’ll fill this part in….Do you see any biographical information here? I think not. <grin> S o she’s been a little busy lately.  She’ll get to it eventually.

Well crap.  i guess since it’s been 19 years, I should answer this?  

Nah……

I’ve been a little busy lately.  I’ll get to it eventually.  Check back in 19 more years.

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