Profiles in Ministry: Sr. M. Laura Wingert, SND

Profiles in Ministry: Sr. M. Laura Wingert, SND

As a clay artist my ministry is to create objects of beauty for others to use and enjoy. I also try to encourage others to express their own creativity in visual ways. The inspiration for my work comes from the beauty of nature around me. Using nature’s colors, shapes, and textures, I create vases, bowls, platters and sculptures from clay. I believe that people drawn to beauty in nature will also be drawn to the Divine Creator who blesses us with that beauty.

I grew up in an area of fallow farms that gave me the opportunity to spend much free time walking in the field and enjoying the beauty of wild growing things. The soil around our home had a very high clay content which I learned to manipulate at an early age. I even tried to bake my little pots in an oven I made of flagstones and heated with solar energy…my first firing failure.

I studied to become a secondary art teacher at Notre Dame College of Ohio where I met the Sisters of Notre Dame and made a radical change in my life plan to become a fashion designer. I entered the convent. My teaching career took me from inner city Cleveland to Chardon, North Carolina, and Virginia. Always there was a ceramic program which already existed or I created. Surprisingly my experiences in these schools also let me design costumes and sets and to direct plays.

I retired from the classroom in 2001 and was given the gift of working as an artist, a clay artist of course. I show and sell my work at area exhibits and craft shows as well as in the Gallery at the Provincial Center.

Sometimes I serve as the clay guru for the Notre Dame Elementary School Art Department to trouble shoot or for special projects. A few years ago we collaborated on a pit fire project with the fourth graders where we fired about 60 pots in a pit behind the school. This project was a huge success.

I am also a member of the Collaborative Initiative to End Human Trafficking. I speak for women and children and men who are trapped in modern day slavery, tell their stories to all who will listen and pray that the time will come when all God’s people will be free.