On a dead-end dirt road in Avon sits a small yellow building. Originally used as a pig shed, this is the studio of local artist and author Carole Thayne Warburton. Inside is filled with pottery in different stages of completion created using the kiln behind the building.
Warburton has created a life centered around artistic expression and literary works.
The Cache Valley woman said she became interested in pottery in high school.
“There was a fellow student that I used to watch. He would work on the wheel. It just looked like the most fun so I kept watching and started practicing and practicing,” Warburton said. “I was really lucky because I met a teacher in high school who allowed me, once he saw my interest, he kind of gave me free reign and let me forego regular assignments and let me work on pottery.”
She started studying pottery at Brigham Young University before eventually transferring to Utah State University, where she earned a degree in art education in 1980. After getting married, she and her husband began teaching in a small Box Elder town called Grouse Creek.
“We had kindergarten through 10th-grade all together in two rooms. It was a two-room schoolhouse and 24 kids total,” Warburton said. “You can kind of see how ‘Little House on the Prairie’ it was.”
After teaching there for five years, her family moved to Paradise and Warburton decided to pursue pottery full time.
“My first studio in Paradise was the old post office,” Warburton said. “I had a studio there that I worked out of for a few years.”
After buying a new house in Avon, Warburton converted the pig shed into her new studio.
Warburton’s pottery is mainly functional pieces.
“I love to do functional work that people are actually going to take home and use on their dinner table. I love anything that people are actually going to use,” Warburton said. “That’s the most fun for me, knowing someone is going to take it home and use it on their dinner table.”
It was during her time in Paradise that Warburton experienced what she described as her “mid-life crisis.”
“I was close to 40, and I decided that to deal with that depression, I went back to college because it seemed that I was happiest when I was in school,” Warburton said. “That seemed like a way to deal with it.”
Warburton had always enjoyed writing and had taken a few writing classes here and there while earning her arts degree.
“So immediately I thought, ‘The first time I went through, I graduated with an art degree. Now it’s really time to focus on the English,’” Warburton said.
Warburton earned her degree in English in 2000 but really had no plans to become a published author, citing self-doubt as the main stumbling block.
However, everything changed when she and three other women in Paradise started their own writing group.
“I started writing a story — because we had all these experiences out in Grouse Creek, and Grouse Creek is such a unique environment,” Warburton said. “It started out just as kind of a cliché idea of having a city girl head out West to do a story, a journalist, kind of to capture the Old West, the last of the Old West. So I had her head out there. The original story had her on the dirt road, heading out to Grouse Creek and had a flat tire and this old man comes rumbling up the road and almost runs her down.”
The other women in her group responded positively to the story. Warburton kept adding more and more and, pretty soon, she had more than 75 pages. It was then she knew she had a novel on her hands.
“I never thought I could plan out a novel. It just didn’t seem doable,” Warburton said. “But once I started with this one idea and just added to it and added to it and characters started coming into the story and events started coming into the story.”
That novel, “A Question of Trust,” was published by Covenant Communications. Covenant would go on to publish a second book of Warburton’s, “Sun Tunnels and Secrets.” Warburton has written three additional books that were published through a smaller company: “False Pretenses,” “Just Shy of Paradise” and her latest one, “Pouching Daisies.”
“It was really fun to write and it’s only been out for a month or so,” Warburton said of her last publication.
Warburton’s books can be purchased online or at local book stores. Her pottery is for sale out of her studio in Avon.
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