About John Graves
I was born and raised in Omaha, Illinois, located on Route 1 in southern Illinois and graduated from Norris City-Omaha High School in 1969. After my freshman year attending Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, I transferred to and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1974 and began my teaching career at Villa Grove High School in 1974. At Villa Grove I served as the art teacher and freshman basketball coach. In 1976 I began teaching High School art and P.E., as well as assistant basketball coach at Cumberland High School in rural Toledo, Illinois, serving Greenup, Toledo, Jewett and the surrounding area.
I worked on and finished my Master's Degree in art while I was teaching. I took several advanced pottery classes in the process and have been selling pottery at craft shows since 1975. In 2007 I retired from a 33 year teaching career and must say that it was an enjoyable and rewarding career as an art and P.E. teacher, basketball coach (boys and girls), archery club and art club sponsor. I always had a passion for art even though my first art class was in college. Working with people and especially kids, coaching and being around basketball, and sharing my love for the outdoors (I hunt and fish) is something that I have always thoroughly enjoyed.
My first pottery shop was in Omaha in 2007 after retirement. Classes were taught and I substituted for the art teacher at the Gallatin County school in Junction, Illinois for 8 weeks. I also later substituted at Cumberland High School for an extended period of time. This was quite rewarding as I had taught many of these students brothers, sisters and parents.
My dad passed away in July of 2013 and I sold the Omaha shop and moved to my Greenup home in 2014. From here I do work and show my wares, as well as teach workshops and classes. The success of workshops and classes have me cutting back on my craft fairs that I have been working for 40 years.
In conclusion I must say that I feel very thankful and blessed to have had such a fun and rewarding career and have made so many good friends along the way.