Courtney Richie - Artist, Goat Wrangler
I'm a homebody. I love the rolling hills of Southern Ohio where I live. It's gorgeous here. I have a small homestead that my husband and son help me to care for. We have a big black horse, a tiny French bulldog and a Lab/Shep mix, a handful of chickens for eggs, a herd of Nubian goats for milk, and a couple of spoiled cats. I am happiest here, and now I am making my living here as well. Life is good.
I'm not from around here. I come from "the city". Mine happens to have been the Washington, DC area. I grew up in the suburbs and dreamed of this kind of life, even when I was a child. Eventually, I found it ... and peace and quiet. (well except for roosters crowing and goats yelling), but first I was surrounded by hustle and bustle. I blocked it out with art. Always making things, I found a joyous juxtaposition in creating art. I was blissful in the solitude of creation, and yet felt a greater connection with the universe and life itself.
Ceramics was my first epiphany. I loved creating in 3-D! I took a sculpture course, and my professor complained to me that I kept my scale much too small. He told me I should look into jewelry. So I did just that. At 18, I began my apprenticeship to a master goldsmith and jeweler. During the next 15 years of creating wearable art, I learned the use of torch, the movement of metal, and even the grading of precious stones.
Then I found a new love. Lampworking. Melting gorgeous, colored glass rods with a torch into tiny sculptures and beads became my obsession. The minute details and all their possibilities were addicting. There in the fluid medium of molten glass, I found my Zen.
I have been flame working glass for over 14 years now, and I am so blessed to be able to make a living doing so!. Trying new designs and incorporating metal work into my pieces keeps me fresh. I'm full steam ahead and SO EXCITED! I hope you enjoy my work as much as I do!
When I am not working in the studio, I can usually be found tending to my herd of Nubian dairy goats. At different times of the year, I have between 1- 4 does (female goats) in milk, and I have to hand milk the ones that do not have babies with them. I trim their feet and maintain proper nutrition and health with careful monitoring. I try to use natural, herbal alternatives as much as possible, and I have found them to work wonderfully. In order to have milk, we have to have babies, so one of the best parts about having milk goats is having adorable kids born each year! It can be nerve wracking waiting and often I have had to help them deliver, but what a joy!
I have to come up with creative ways to use all of the wonderful goat milk that I have "on tap", so I learned to make goat milk soap, lotion, yogurt, cheese, and of course we also drink it! Search my pages and you will find a section dedicated to my goats, the products I make from their milk, and other various herbal items. I also blog about my day to day adventures with my girls, so check my blog section for updates.
Thanks for reading A LOT about me and my loves!