Maker’s Feature: Garden Study Ceramics

Welcome friends!

I want to take a moment to introduce you to a new series that I am hosting where I will feature a different maker each week. In this series, I hope to share with you all a little about other talented creatives and what beautiful things they are making. I love to talk with others about their passions and hear more about how they are shining their light in our world.

With this new series, I hope I will give you a deeper understanding of various crafts and the talent that goes into each piece that we as makers share with the world around us. If you enjoy learning more about how different items are made and want to get a realistic idea of the time, the skills, and the passion that goes into each of these items, then this is something you won’t want to miss.

San Diego Maker

First up on our line-up of very talented makers, I had the chance to pick the mind behind Garden Study Ceramics and man does she have a lot to share with us. I have always admired potters and after talking with Janet, I only appreciate this art form more now.

Janet is someone whose talents I really admire, she is an incredibly talented potter. Janet is a Southern California local, living in sunny San Diego with her young family. Janet makes botanically- inspired ceramics in her beautiful home studio by the sea- what a dream come true.

We all get our starts somewhere, for Janet she started to explore ceramics and try her hands at throwing clay back in high school. Janet’s school offered a course and here is where she started to learn some of the basics. She wants to make sure that we know “she had such a hard time on the wheel, she didn’t care to explore anymore past that class for a few years.” I think that just goes to show that we all start somewhere. We might not get our footing right away. Hey, we might even take a step away, but that doesn’t mean we can’t ever try again. If you have a passion in your life and you want to chase it, I suggest you persist on and see where it could take you, no one starts at the top or as the best in their field.

Creative Outlet Quickly turns into a Business

Flash forward to 2018, Janet started to feel a familiar spark and so she thought she might like to try another hand at this ceramics thing. So that’s just what she did. She looked around and found a local pottery studio and signed- up for a class, initially, just as a creative outlet for herself. Soon after she started this new hobby, others started to show an interest in her pieces, so that’s when she got the idea, that it might be time to plunge into a small business of her own, again. Janet says that she likes that she has found something that she finds brings her joy from practicing a skill that takes something natural from our earth- clay- and with a balance of patience and love crafts that clay into an object that is both aesthetically pleasing and usable for its new owner. Making things with a purpose has brought Janet purpose and a sense of pride in what she does.

Project Feature: Monsterra Leaf

Date: January 14th, 2018
Name of Project: Monsterra Leaf plates
Project Time: She makes these pieces in batches of 10, this process takes up to two weeks!
Project Technique:
1. Roll out clay
2. Cut out a leaf shape
3. Form it into a bowl
4. Stamp name on the bottom
5. Let the piece(s) dry for a few days.
6. Bisque fire it- this way it will be hard, yet porous for glazing. *This can take up to 10 hours.
7. Let the piece cool
8. Dip the bowl in a glaze
9. Glaze fire it to harden and coat *which also typically takes 6-8 hours

Who is this intended for?: For local fairs, boutique shops, + fashion/food bloggers
Positive Reflection: She’s been working to find a glaze recipe that has depth, texture, and the right shade of green. After several experiments and test firings, she was able to find herself “that perfect” hue for this project!
Chance for improvement: Streamlining the process. Cutting out each leaf by hand was a huge undertaking when making dozens of them, so I am looking into getting some kind of custom cookie cutter made to work smarter, not harder.
Maker’s Notes: These are such versatile pieces. Clients are so creative in the ways they think to use these pieces in their homes! Janet originally made these Monsterra plates to hold trinkets and jewelry, but some have told me they use it to display fruits/ breads, some have used it as a styling prop for weddings/parties, and others stack them with other smaller ceramic dishes inside to hold condiments. I love that they are versatile and can adapt in function and form.

Find this maker around the internet on:
Instagram: @GardenStudyCeramics

Final Thoughts
1. Each piece of ceramic takes about 2 weeks to fully process, wow!
2. Sometimes we don’t get it just right the first time, but with a little persistence, you never know what could happen.
3. These are some super cute trinket dishes and I can’t wait to see what Janet comes up with next.

I hope you’ll take an extra moment today to truly appreciate the wonderful pieces of ceramic that you use in your daily life and that constantly surrounded us. For me, this means slowing down and acknowledging the care that goes into each mug that I drink coffee out of every morning. It also means looking at the plates I eat every meal off of and feeling how special each piece is. I know it can be easy to overlook the things that are all around us daily, but I challenge each of us to take a moment to really appreciate the amount of care that went into so many items in our households. I really hope you never overlook the fact that each object in your home came from somewhere and I hope that somewhere was inspired.

As always dear readers, live lightly and love courageously, until next time.

If you are interested in using this method for your own small business or in being featured here in my space I would love to chat. Check out the original share here.

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