About Me

Living My Best Life!


Hi, my name is Terri Taylor.
I live in Burlington, Ontario, Canada and I am a potter!

Tas 95x114

Why Pottery ?

In March 2021, deep in Covid lockdown I ended up in hospital with all the signs and symptoms of a stroke.  I couldn’t talk and had lost control of my right side.  I was only 49!  After millions of tests  and doctors (slight exaggeration but felt like more) an MRI showed damage to my left frontal lobe.  I couldn’t work and I needed to rehabilitate myself but how?  I struggled for a year going to physical therapists and speech therapists, I was getting better but the progress was very slow.  Almost a year later to the day, I was diagnosed with FND (see FND and ME) and told I needed to involve my brain in learning.  It was then that I got the courage to join the Burlington Potters Guild.  I had never so much as touched clay before but I had always wanted to try.  I guess I can thank the movie Ghost for that.  I showed up the first day with a bag of clay and a basic tool kit from amazon and I just tried.  The rest as they say is history.

FND and Me

FND stands for Functional Neurological disorder.  I can copy all the fancy medical lingo and put it here to bore you to pieces.  Instead I would rather explain to you what I’ts like for me.  Essentially your brain is like a computer you send out a command to your hand to grab a pencil and your fingers close around the pencil.  In my brain, when I am triggered the signal shorts and it gets sent thoughout my body, it may  bounce off my left ear, head to my nose, shimmy down my spine to my baby toe, then maybe visits an alternate universe before returning and completely confusing my nervous system resulting in no movement.  I will be staring at my hand knowing I want to grasp the pencil but I just can’t find my arm in my body.  To say its frustrating would be an understatement.  The symptoms of FND vary per patient but mine are focused on movement on the right side of my body and speech.  Sometimes I can speak, sometimes I can’t utter a word, other times I struggle with a stutter.  I leave words out of sentences and struggle with word pronounciation and word recall.  Sometimes I can move my leg or arm where I want and other times I can’t at all.  What are my triggers?  I haven’t discovered them all, sometimes I am struck down for what seems no reason at all.  But I do know, any loud noise, unexplained noise, repetitive noise, stress, emotions and any vibration (think cell phone vibrating in pocket) will set me off for sure and like I said often I cant find the correlation.  Pottery has been my rehab.  It has taught me to be at peace with this frustrating condition When I cant move or speak I sit beside my piece and wait for it to come back.  It has helped me accept my diagnosis and work with it rather than fight it.  There is no current known cure for FND and there are many people suffering in silence, many stay hidden, embarrassed by their symptoms.  I want to help those people.  I want to give them hope to conquer and control the parts they can and accept the stuff they cant.  If my Pottery becomes successful enough to cover my pottery expenses I want to donate a portion of the proceeds to FND research.  I am hoping to donate to  Dr. Matthew Burke at Sunneybrook hospital who is researching and developing a program for FND patients.



Why One And Done ?

One of the symptoms of my FND (see FND and ME) is my dislike of repetition.  I throw myself into a piece but when it is done, successful or not, I don’t have the interest or ability to make it again.  So there will never be more than one of my creations.  They are truly one of a kind and my art will forever be One and Done!

Why heart M2 ?

 All of my pottery is stamped with a heart with an m2 in the middle.  I have two sons, both of whose names begin with the letter M.  I always said if I was brave enough to get a tattoo heart m2 is all I would ever want.  When I started my creative journey it felt like my perfect insignia.