Aleka Tomlinson was born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia and spent her childhood swimming the lakes of the Okanagan valley. She moved to Portland, OR with her family during her early teens and decided to leave high school early to pursue art classes through Clark Community College in Washington, focusing on ceramics. Anxious to learn more, Aleka transferred to the Oregon College of Art and Craft and studied ceramics there in 2006. Her stay was short-lived, however, and she left the college in late 2007. After spending some time traveling, she landed back in Portland, eventually taking a position at production studio, Pigeon Toe Ceramics. While at Pigeon Toe, Aleka also had part time work assisting local artists Lilith Rockett and Andy Paiko in their studios. In September 2015, she became a part of the Emerging Artists Mentorship Program at the Ash Street Project in Southeast Portland where she worked towards the goal of finding her voice within her studio practice. Having completed the mentorship program at Ash Street Project in July 2016, Aleka spent 8 weeks at Penland school of Crafts assisting Birdie Boone and Matt Repsher in their fall concentration workshop “Common Ground.” After which she returned to making work in her home studio in Southeast Portland, and assistantships with Brian Jones and Victoria Christen. In the spring of 2017, Aleka was invited to relocate to Albany, New York to participate in a work- trade and mentorship position with Brian Jones and decided to take the leap. She is currently making work in their shared studio space, and is looking forward to returning to Penland in the summer of 2017 to assist Martina Lantin in her two week clay workshop “Pick Form, Pattern, & Repeat.”