Joyce Anderson Usitalo was born in Calumet in 1929 and graduated from Calumet High School in 1947. She went to college at Northern Michigan College of Education, now called Northern Michigan University, and graduated in 1951. She majored in Home Economics with minors in English and Art. She attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and obtained credits in Art education, Sculpture and Dance. Her first teaching job was in Powers, MI, and her next one was in Newberry, teaching Home Economics and Art. Afterward, she returned to Calumet and taught Home Economics.
Around 1961, Mrs Usitalo went downstate to Flint and Detroit to teach, and attended the Flint Institute of Art, where she learned how to throw pots. She also took many different workshops in Florida where she learned from many different teachers. After about twenty years, her husband retired and they moved back up to the Calumet area, where she continued to do ceramics.
“Pottery is my passion. Even if I can’t do it because of my arthritis, I’m always thinking of new designs”