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Pottery

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Malea Rhodes

August 15, 2016

Malea Rhodes | UncommonGoodsMalea Rhodes

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Malea Rhodes, creator of our new Chartreuse Citrus Juicer and Falling Leaves Mug and Tea Infuser.

Malea Rhodes ceramics | UncommonGoods

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Maker Stories

Tony Holman’s Problem-Solving Pottery

June 9, 2016
Tony Holman | UncommonGoods

Tony Holman working in his Plano, TX studio, photos by NéQuana Rollings

 

“Being a full time artist is never easy, but it’s certainly worth the hard work (and gray hairs),” says Tony Holman, a potter who makes practicality and purpose look good.

Tony began honing his pottery skills almost 40 years ago at Indiana University, fine tuned them soon after at Bloomington Pottery, and now runs his own studio in Plano, Texas. It’s here where he creates his line of handcrafted helpers that play a vital part in the well-appointed kitchen.

Statues in the Holman's yard

Tony created these statues in grad school. They now stand in the Holmans’ garden

His kitchen creations—an all-in-one fondue warmer and platter setself-draining utensil caddy, and omelet maker that turns out fluffy eggs in 45 seconds flat, to name a few—are an irresistible blend of form and function.

Utensil Draining Caddy | UncommonGoods

Utensil Draining Caddy | UncommonGoods

 

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Maker Stories

Inside the Artist’s Studio with Laurel Begley

January 22, 2016

Personalized Faux Bois Vase | UncommonGoods

Laurel Begley in her vintage VW Beetle. All photos by Steve Terrebonne

With all of the natural inspiration to be found around Laurel Begley’s Sonoma County studio, you might be surprised to hear that she’s more inspired by personal history than she is by natural history. From the cookie jar she inherited from her Nana to the simple celebration of family dinners at the end of the day, her family life infuses her creative life with an air of authenticity. And as an independent maker, business owner, and mother, she maintains a pragmatic but laid-back outlook to help juggle it all.

While we weren’t able to visit Laurel’s Santa Rosa, CA studio in person, she opened her doors to us through a series of beautiful photos, giving us a snapshot of her routine and some insight into the inspiration behind designs like her Personalized Faux Bois Vase.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Heidi Fahrenbacher

January 11, 2016

Heidi Fahrenbacher | UncommonGoods

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Heidi Fahrenbacher, the artist behind our new Four Seasons Hanging Planter.

Four Seasons Hanging Planter | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Between my sophomore and junior year of college I apprenticed for a full-time potter. He made pottery all day, listened to NPR, and sold his work throughout the country, and I told him that is what I wanted to do with my life.

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?

The most exciting thing is when I stop and think that people pay me for my drawings on my pottery! I’ve been drawing since a child and to think my drawings on a piece of my pottery resonate with someone so much that they will pay for it is amazing. It’s crazy. It motivates me to do my best work.

Heidi Fahrenbacher at her kiln | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

My studio is 4 miles from my house, at my parents’ house. They had an old chicken coop they weren’t using, so my partner and I finished it, and added heat and electricity. My parents are in their late 70’s, so I usually have a cup of coffee with them around 9. Then I head out to the coop. I have different schedules for each day depending where I am in the making process. One day I could be casting, the next finishing, firing the kiln, or glazing. I try not to waste time, so if I am waiting for pots to dry I am working on something else. I usually work until 5-ish unless I have a project that needs to be completed, but even then the latest I work is 7.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

My late sister-in-law made me an apron when I started taking pottery classes in high school. The fabric has a universe pattern with iron-on moons and stars. She used to sew goose clothes (remember those?) and sell them at craft fairs. She was a talented seamstress. She died unexpectedly when I was a senior in college and never saw me become a professional artist. I wore the apron so long it is threadbare, but I keep it to remind me of her and her encouragement.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?

They would giggle with delight! They would say they like all the little houses.

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

I have a greeting card that hangs in my studio that says: “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” —H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Kristen Juen

November 30, 2015

Kristen Juen | UncommonGoods

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Kristen Juen, the artist behind our new Mauna Planter and Dish and Valley Hanging Planter.

Mauna Planter and Dish | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artisan?

I have always had a passion for creativity. When I moved to Austin recently it felt like the right time and place to pursue a path as a maker.

What has been the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artisan?

Sharing my joy and inspiration for creating with others!

Kristen Juen | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

I like to stay busy in the studio. I typically continue on a previous day’s work, while also starting something new so I always have something going. You will find me rolling out slabs, assembling new work, trimming, smoothing, and glazing. I also currently work out of a shared studio, so I learn a lot and gain inspiration from being around other creatives.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

I do not have a specific trinket, but I gain so much inspiration from the outdoors. Getting out of the studio occasionally to take in the beauty, peace, and surprises that can be discovered in nature, is so important to the development of my creativity and ceramic wares.

Kristen Juen | UncommonGoods

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?

A kindergartner recently looked up at me during an art show in amazement and said, “Did you make all this?”

Valley Hanging Planter | UncommonGoods

What quote or mantrakeeps you motivated?

It can be scary to push myself to try new creative ideas that might completely fail. However, I recognize that my most exciting creations often evolve from these experiments. I am inspired and motivated to keep going by the Joseph Chilton Pearce quote, “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

See the Collection | UncommonGoods

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