Spencer Telligman is a potter. He began ceramics in high school, continued in college, until he had a stroke in January of 2011, and through the help of a couple of great teachers and one special teacher/mentor, he has been able to continue working at his love of pottery. As his mentor once said, Spencer's veins run clay.
Spencer and his Mother walked into FLEECE one day last year and presented us with a box full of yarn bowls. The bowls were original, beautiful and functional and after I heard his story, we were "sold"! The following is Spencer's story in his own words and I hope you are as moved as I am after reading his story and encouraged by his positive attitude
This is Spencer's story
I'm Spencer and now I'm 25. It's been 2 1/2 years since my stroke and I'm doing great. I had two brain surgeries in 2011. I've regained about 85-90% of the use of my right side. My leg is stronger than my arm but they both continue to improve. My eyesight still stinks though it has improved greatly thanks to eye therapy.
My life changed completely on 1/5/11. I had a massive stroke because of a blood clot in the deep part of the middle of the left side of my brain. I was paralyzed on my right side, blind on the left side of both my eyes - I know that sounds weird, but it's a brain-optic nerve thing - couldn't communicate, and was basically as close to not recovering as possible. That I survived is nothing short of a miracle. That I only have minor - except for the eyes - long-term damage to my body is unbelievable. I've worked really hard to get where I am today, and while I would love to be closer to fully recovered, I realize that this might be as good as it gets. I'm okay with that, though. I am able to throw pots and build objects with my hands, both of my hands. My mentor/teacher and I agreed really early that if I was going to learn to throw pieces as large as I wanted, I had to use my right arm at full strength. That was hard and scary at first. I couldn't get my arm to work the way I wanted it to, but we worked on different techniques and today I can throw a piece that's 12 inches in height. Wow
I am pretty sure I won't ever go back to college or finish my degree, but I don't care. I think of my work with my pottery instructor as an apprenticeship, in the old sense of the word. I work at his studio once or twice a week, helping with making glazes, waxing pieces, and helping load and unload the kiln. I'm really lucky to have found someone so willing to work with me and teach me. It's a God thing.
I still live at home in a condo we moved into in December. I'm doing a lot of ceramics with a fantastic teacher in Canton, GA. and I've started doing art festivals and so far, so good. My pieces continue to sell. Thanks for your thoughts and each and every prayer you have said in my name. Your continued faith has helped my rapid recovery.