Polonia Odahara Novack was born in Santa Monica, CA. She is the granddaughter of Japanese immigrants and daughter of a Japanese-American mother. All were incarcerated in a U.S. concentration camp in California during WWII. Having come of age in a postmodern Southern California landscape within a crucible of surf and car culture, she remains drawn to social justice and environmental issues, both which continue to inform her work. Clay-focused studies range from working with Zapotec potters in San Marcos Tlapazola, Oaxaca, Mexico, to MN NICE (Minnesota New Institute for Ceramic Education), a program of advanced study at Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN. She currently lives and works in Saint Paul, MN.