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70 & Sunny: Two San Diegans, Decades Apart, Talk Pottery-Making and Affordable Housing

Sandy is an artist in Mira Mesa, and Nickolas is a second grader in Chula Vista
Nate Hoffman

By Erica Nichols

Sandy Amison

70, Artist, Mira Mesa

How’d you get into pottery?

Fixed income, widowed, not a drinker, where do you go? You go play with some clay.

What do you love most about your hobby?

You’re really playing with mud. You work it and knead it until you form something, then you put it in the fire and it turns to stone. How could you not be fascinated by that?

Has Mira Mesa changed much over the years?

I’ve been in Mira Mesa since ’93. It was always reasonable to buy here, but in the last year, maybe two, it’s just skyrocketed. I converted my pottery studio into a living space so I can rent out the main house. We were so lucky to buy when we did.

Would you live anywhere else?

I’d go back to Italy in a heartbeat. Italians are so different from us with how they handle themselves and interact with each other. We are so uptight here!

Nickolas Mannello

8, Second Grader, Chula Vista

What’s been exciting at school?

Science is my favorite class. Today we presented our animal habitat projects. I picked the grizzly bear because they’re strong, kind of like my dog Hunter. We’re also learning about pollination. But my science class is all in Spanish, so it’s really polinización.

Name your favorite thing to do outside of school.

I practice jujitsu, which is the best martial arts. I like it because you learn how to defend yourself. You learn how to fight so that you don’t have to fight.

What’s one place you love to travel to?

Connecticut, because my grandparents are there. They have two houses. I like the red house more, because I get my own room—it’s the same room my dad had when he was little. It’d be cool to have a house like that someday.

How much do you think a house like that costs?

Maybe like two thousand dollars.

Sandy (left) and Nickolas

Nate Hoffman

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