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888 E Belvidere Rd Suite 101
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone/Fax 847-223-1807

Art Classes - Pottery - Pottery Tools & Equipment
Kilns - Kiln Repair
Chicago Public Schools Vendor #69777
About Me

Grew up in Greeley, Colorado, a town know for smelling like cows. At some point the feed lots were moved way of east of town, which got rid of the smell, but the stigma still exists today. Once a cow town, always a cow town.

Attended Greeley West High School, home of the Spartans. Not the 'Fighting' Spartans, as proven by our football team, just the plain Spartans. I was not one of the popular cool kids; I did not play sports or go to keg parties. I was a band geek of the highest caliber: the Drum Major. I think my parents were okay with it, though, as they never had to bail me out of jail.

August 1990
Attended Regis College (now Regis University) in Denver as a math major. My parents were very proud of me. I was going to specialize in statistics and get a job as an actuary for an insurance company. I was on the fast track to a lucrative career!

December 1990
Told my parents I wanted to be an Art major instead. Once the tears stopped, Dad started looking for a second job, knowing he would probably have to support me for the rest of his life.

Transferred to the University of Northern Colorado and started my training as a graphic artist. I chose graphics because it seemed like it would give me the best chance of getting a real paying job after graduation. Not many Fortune 500 companies have potters on the payroll.

Fall 1992
Took a ceramics class to fulfill some credits in the art program. I was instantly hooked. I spent 40 hours a week in the ceramics studio and forgot all about graphics.

February 1993
Told my parents I was changing my major to Ceramics. Mom started looking for a second job.

December 1994
Graduated from UNC with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Art with an emphasis in Ceramics and Photography. It's a long name for a degree with no marketable skill set.

Attended graduate school at Utah State University. It was great- nothing to do but make pots. Literally. I did nothing but make pots for 3 years. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Summer 1997
Attended my cousin's wedding in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and met a nice midwestern girl named Sara. Decided I was going to marry her some day.

December 1997
Graduated from Utah State with a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics. Still no marketable skill set.

January 1998
Moved to Iowa to be with Sara, who was in veterinary school at Iowa State. I worked for a commercial glass company installing mirrors and store fronts while she finished school. Believe it or not, long hair and earrings do not make you cool amongst construction workers in Iowa.

August 1999
Got married (yes, to Sara)

Summer 2000
Moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin and got a job running the art program at a preschool. The budget for my salary ran out after a year.

Worked as a tech for A.R.T. Studio Clay Company. It only took 5 years, but my ceramics training finally got me a job!

September 2005
Encouraged by visions of massive profits and abundant vacation time, I started my own business, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC. Dad tried to figure out how to fit in a 3rd job.

September 2006
Sara gave birth to our first child, a boy. I immediately hid all the pottery in our house and bought him a copy of Microsoft Excel.

My parents moved to Arizona. It took me 3 months to find them.

April 2009
Our second son was born. He is a wonderfully goofy little boy.

All is well. My parents have decided to accept my career choice, my family is happy and healthy, my shop is still open, and life is good!