Monika studied at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies. While working on school, she managed a student run pottery cooperative. Her skills were honed by working under an unusual but talented potter, Mattie Leeds. She apprenticed under Mattie, and learned how to “go big” with her work. During this period, Monika began to see these large vessels as 3-D canvasses to decorate. She picked up the Chinese brush and was mentored by Mattie who was proficient in traditional Chinese painting.
Monika moved to Lander, WY in 2018, following the dream of a slower paced lifestyle in a neighborly community where she can focus on her artwork. Lately, she has drawn inspiration from the natural beauty of the mountain flora and fauna. Much of her spare time is spent hiking and skiing around areas of the Wind River Range. Witnessing the pristine beauty of the Winds has dramatically influenced the direction in which the pottery takes form. Monika aims to connect the raw, earthly nature of pottery to the visions in which she perceives the serenity and sanctity of the working ecosystems in which we live and participate.