These last few weeks have been a blur of late afternoons, clay, pottery wheels, handmade ceramic pieces, glaze, encaustic wax, and glass.
My recent decision to join the newest addition to the Atlanta retail scene, Crafted Westside, meant I needed to produce pottery. My long afternoons began, my second job as working artist started as soon as my first job, art teacher, ended for the day. Every day I stay pumping out decorative bowls, teapots, pitchers, and mugs. I love seeing the similar glaze colors coating each pot create a unified, body of work.
I don’t think I have ever made so much pottery.
As I begin each creation I try to think like a consumer. Who will buy my products? What is their taste? What will compliment the overall look of the shop? Generally the consumer I visualize is me, shopping for my Mom on Mother’s Day, my sister for Christmas. When it came time to create my “c” alphabet mug, I couldn’t help but include a coral shade, after all my sister Christy is a bright, pink personality.
My goal in the coming weeks is to complete the entire alphabet in mug form. I am currently up to letter m, with letters n-u waiting to be fired and glazed, and letters v-z waiting to come into reality via my B mix clay and pottery wheel.
In addition to the many mugs I have created in the past few weeks, I have also been hard at work creating more decorative bowls. My house is scattered with ceramic bowls. If a tabletop looks empty, I plop a bowl down to jazz it up. I love crisp white contrasting with a bright interior. Over the years I have developed a knack for making flowers out of clay. A pinch here, a pinch there, a score and a slip, and out comes a hydrangea, rose, or camellia. Just this week I added a dot bowl and a hydrangea to the mix at Crafted Westside.
My absolute favorite thing to make on the pottery wheel has to be teapots. There is something about seeing the spout, lid, and handle come together that makes me smile.
I knew I wanted to add a couple of teapots to the shelves of Crafted. Luckily, at the time I was also about to begin a teapot lesson in my 3D II class. It was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone; demonstrate how to make a teapot to my students, and create a teapot I could turn around and sell.
First came my bird teapot. I want to create a small bird to serve as the handle of my teapot lid. After some brainstorming I decided to go a more abstract route when glazing, and drew lines to represent telephone lines, and glazed in between the lines. The end result almost looked like a plaid shirt wrapped around my little teapot. When you first take a glance at it, it looks like a random pattern. But, when you give it a closer look the telephone lines and bird silhouette begin to emerge.
For the second teapot I opted to stick with a stamped letter design, which was already incorporated into a handful of mugs and bowls at the shop. I put my teapot together, and thought about what to stamp into it. After looking at my small little pot, I decided the perfect quote is from the childhood song, “I’m a little teapot, short and stout.” It was perfect, it was nostalgic, and fit with the short and stout nature of my teapot.
There is something about teapots. They each have their own personality. As I put them together I feel like I get to know them.
The final addition to my space at Crafted Westside is my brand new business card holder. With the creation of my new identity, Sweet Celadon, came a need for advertisement and contact information in the form of business cards. While I waited for my order to arrive I decided I needed a handmade ceramic item to hold my new cards. Out came this simple, flower and hand stamped card holder.
I can’t wait to see my table at Crafted Westside continue to fill up. I hope in the coming weeks I continue to move items through the door and create new items to replace them. In addition to the handmade ceramics I have focused on for the shop, I have also been prepping for my next craft fair, the annual Wesleyan Artist Market, coming up May 1st-3rd. More information will come soon!
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