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This Just In

Maker Stories

This Just In-Spiration: Meet Alison Evans

February 1, 2016

Alison Evans | 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 Alison Evans, the artist behind our new Oyster Porcelain Dishware Collection.Oyster Porcelain Dishware Collection | UncommonGoods
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
When I was 14, I took a computer programing class and a pottery class (among other classes) and realized that sitting in front of computer was no fun. I wanted to have a job that was physically demanding and creative. At that time, I thought to myself – maybe I should become a potter?

Alison Evans | UncommonGoods
What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?
I’ve always been very goal-oriented, so to make a living doing what I love and being able to check that off of my list in my 20s was a big accomplishment.

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Christie Little

January 25, 2016

Christie Little | 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 Christie Little, the artist behind our new I Love Hearts Large Canvas Market Bag.

I Love Hearts Large Canvas Market Bag | UncommonGoods

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Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Karin and Jason Hirsch

January 18, 2016

Karin and Jason Hirsch | 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 Karin and Jason Hirsch, the artists behind our new Chakra Candles – Set of 7.

Chakra Candles - Set of 7 | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

We both were always into arts since childhood. Drawing and painting, crafting, pottery or making music are some of our favorites. We always perceived our artistic endeavors as a way of nurturing the creative potential inside and experience what it brings forth in our daily life. Creativity is our life force and however it desires to manifest itself we embrace it. We consider ourselves artists by nature.

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

Definitely expressing what’s dormant inside and coming to know ourselves in so many different ways. We never had the professional aspect in mind when creating art or products, it just came along naturally with enjoying what we were doing.

Chakra Candles - Set of 7 | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

A typical day would start with coffee or tea, music, and a challenging schedule. We love to dive into the work and prove to ourselves we can do it. This goes for our passion for our company as well as for our individual work. We enjoy very much working together.

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

We are actually always surrounded by inspirational objects. There is not one particular one that stands out, it is the feng shui environment that lets the creativity emerge and flow. Elemental balance, harmony and good energy is the most important aspect in our home and from there all things fall in place. There are of course our deer in the backyard that gave inspiration to our company and logo. (“Deer” in German is “Hirsch”!) We are very grateful to have them.

Chakra Candles - Set of 7 | UncommonGoods

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

I think they would love the colors as they are very primary and speak to the inner child. Maybe seeing the product would want them to draw a picture with beautiful colors.

Chakra Candles | UncommonGoods

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

“The creation within will guide the creativity without. Listen and trust your inner voice.”

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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 Ariana Ost

December 30, 2015

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 Ariana Ost, the artist behind our gorgeous new City Garden, Earth Elements, and Paris jewelry collections.

Ariana Ost | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I grew up in Brooklyn and have always been a dreamer. The city of Paris was, is and always will be my greatest muse. I grew up accompanying my father on business trips to France and marveled at the endless creativity and history at every turn. I studied abroad in Paris, while attending Parsons School of Design, and during that time I just knew in my heart that I would be a designer. I learned so much about expression through art, language, architecture and culture. I was so taken with French design and took in the spirit and passion around me.

I came home and knew jewelry would be my focus. Parsons didn’t offer jewelry design so to supplement I took an intensive course in London at the acclaimed Central Saint Martins and learned the technical skills to interpret my vision. I adored the Old World approach that London has and how historic the art of craftsmanship is to the British heritage. I wanted to revive European ingenuity and make it accessible to the contemporary American market.

Ariana Ost - Paris Collection | UncommonGoodsWhat was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?

The moments when I first saw my designs in a chain store, being worn out on the streets, posted and styled on blogs, getting press etc. was magical. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm, knowing that an idea I had had and executed in my own little world was out in the world market. Some of my old pieces made before the days of Pinterest are still being pinned, which amazes me that users uploaded images and found something special about my designs.

Ariana Ost | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

I come in catch up on emails, work closely with our creative director, sample makers and metal smiths. It is such a delight to have such a creative team to manage and execute my vision. I am also so lucky to have my father as my business partner; he handles all production and makes my dreams reality. We have lunch together every day and brainstorm about the business. We have been expanding into other categories and applying our jewelry approach to new avenues, I am most eager to launch my home line very shortly.

Ariana Ost | UncommonGoods

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 am so privileged to be able to walk to my studio with my Maltipoo, London. He is such a dynamic character and the mascot of our workplace; he attends every meeting and handles client relations. I try and make our studio a haven and home away from home with various trinkets and symbolic items. So to create a warm and motivational ambiance we have essential oils handy for meetings and use the appropriate ones based on the topic. I have grounding blends, joyful blends, inspirational and creative blends, as well as de-stressing, calming blends. We have quartz to conduct strong energy and pyrite to bring success. I also light candles to set the mood and add a lovely aroma.

Ariana Ost - City Garden Collection | UncommonGoods

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

I think that a kindergartener would find my pieces to be very pretty and fun. They would definitely know the items are to be worn and would try to feel glamorous. Jewelry is luckily an eye-catching category.

Ariana Ost - Earth Elements Collection | UncommonGoods

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

Never give up, always be the best version of yourself, and failure is never an option. I have gone through many moments of reinvention in my life. I lost my mother at the age of 25 and started my own business when I was 28, I took charge of my life and knew I had to create my own destiny.