A Trip Down Memory Lane

I think my style has changed drastically over the years so I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share what I've created in the past. This will give you an idea of where I was at artistically when I first began my business compared to now. I also think it will serve as a good reminder to simply trust the process. I so often worry that my style is consistently all over the place, like every new collection I release is something completely different than the last. However, I've gained an incredible amount of knowledge that I otherwise wouldn't have if I wasn't seemingly all over the place with my creative process. I put together a little montage of what I've created in the past six years to show you where I started and where I am now!

I set up a tiny studio space in my mom's basement about three years ago. That's when I began lots of experimenting. I played around with different clays and glazes, tried out hand building and wheel throwing, really doing just about anything to get back into the craft after taking a year off post graduation. When I bought my Brent pottery wheel, I received a $100 voucher for Amaco products. I decided to order a whole bunch of glazes to play around with, which is why I included these pictures. They were some of the first pieces I made on my new wheel, glazed using commercial glazes, and fired in my $200 Craigslist kiln. I look at these pictures now and notice how small and heavy the pots are and how patchy the glazes are, but I had to start somewhere, right?


I started an Instagram account shortly after I set up my little studio space so I was greatly inspired by all the accounts I was following on there at the time. I wanted to try everything. Marbling and bubble glazing were trending back then so of course I gave those techniques a try. I even combined the two techniques because I was convinced that no one had attempted that yet! I remember being so excited for the potential of all these pieces and was convinced that they were going to sell out in my Etsy shop and get me more followers. I was very wrong (lol). I look at these pictures now and laugh at how the handles look, wonder why I made so many of the same pieces, and roll my eyes at how sharp the rims are. My standards are set incredibly high now so it's harder to look at older pictures, but they do serve as a reminder of how exciting it is to learn new things and how exhilarating it is to create with my own two hands even if I went a bit overboard.



Once I realized that marbling and bubble glazing were trending a little too much, I ventured away from popular techniques and started brainstorming on my own. I used to love watching cake decorating/piping videos and one day decided to give piping a try by using clay slip on pots instead of icing on cake. It was definitely a learning curve at first but also incredibly satisfying. I remember feeling so pleased with myself for trying something completely new. This collection sold decently in my Etsy shop, but the work was tedious. I enjoyed the piping process but not so much the glazing process and eventually felt that the outcome wasn't worth the trouble. I simply didn't feel inspired enough to keep at it and perfect my skills. I will say that this line of work made me realize that I was capable of bringing my own ideas to life. It also brought me back to art that was heavily inspired by nature, which I walked away from after college.


At this point, I remember feeling particularly discouraged because my work wasn't selling as well as I had hoped. So instead of trying to figure out what people like to buy (and driving myself crazy in the process), I decided not to put too much thought into it by making with no expectations. This is when I think my work really took a turn. I absolutely love doodling. Not drawing with a purpose, but mindless doodling in the margins of notebook paper. If you were to look through my old high school or college notebooks, you'll find hundreds of doodles where they aren't supposed to be. My sketchbooks are filled with more doodles that actual sketches or ideas. Instead of putting those doodles on paper, I put them on my pots!



After the doodle revelation, I really felt my work start to blossom. This is when I began using watercolor techniques on my pots too. I grew more confident in what I was creating and truly enjoyed creating it. People seemed to like it too, which is always a plus. It took me years to create things that I truly enjoyed and not what I thought my followers wanted to see... 



...and then 2020 came along. We all know how tough this year was. I was back to feeling uninspired and discouraged once the new year hit. I remember an overwhelming need to create but the desire simply wasn't there. I was hit with a major case of impostor syndrome and thinking that no one would buy my work if I kept making the same things over and over again. I was tired of seeing makers on Instagram surpass me in every way. Basically, I was feeling sorry for myself to the max, which I wouldn't wish on anyone. I believe it was mid-January when I finally got back in the studio. I decided to not put any pressure on myself, to simply have fun. I will admit that I find it very difficult to create without a plan in mind and the pieces below are the result. As I look at this collection now, I am reminded of a time when I greatly questioned my artistic abilities and creative process. There were a few ideas that weren't all bad but I knew I wasn't in my element. I knew I could do better.



I was out of touch with my aesthetic until August of 2020. This is when I changed my business name and decided to go back to my roots. The mugs below are very special to me. They are the end result after months of inner struggles. I see them as coming home after a long journey on the wrong path. I learned so much from these mugs, as I made far too many of them, they collected dust on my shelves, and, after much back and forth, were finally donated. These mugs were yet another idea turned failure, but the difference this time around is that I was at perfect peace. They reminded me why I create to begin with: to glorify my Heavenly Father!


Now here we are today: back to what I love making. I knew exactly when I was most confident with my work and that scared me. I was scared that people would grow tired of it, that I would grow tired of it, that I would run out of ideas, etc. I used to care so much about followers, sales and making a name for myself that I was creating subpar work. I now create because I have been called to do so and what I create is bringing glory to my gracious God. I now feel blessed that even a small number of you enjoy my work enough to purchase it and that is more than enough for me.



I used to be bothered by what a mess I appeared to be but now I see it as a journey of growth. Some ideas where plain awful, I've probably donated or trashed more mugs than I've sold, and have easily had more failures than successes, but this business wouldn't be what it is today without the countless hardships. I wouldn't be who I am today. It's been tough and God only knows what I'll be making a year from now, but His grace is upon me every step of the way.

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men,
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth and giveth and giveth again.


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