Ronda Ruby Ceramics

American Made Since 2010

Ronda Dibbern

Chicago, Illinois
Ronda Ruby Ceramics is a collection of handcrafted ceramic lamps and shades defined by bold color, dramatic shapes, and unexpected materials.

Tell us about your business.

I launched Ronda Ruby Ceramics in 2010 but I've been a potter for more than half my life and a maker for as long as I can remember.  

 Ceramics is my passion. I love the tactile nature of clay.  I love that I can manipulate and transform the clay with my hands into a finished form.  I am also continually challenged and inspired by the ceramic medium because there is a natural element that I cannot control but must work and play with.

 It was through playing with shape and form the idea to create ceramic lamps was developed.  

 Creating lamps allows me to blend craft, design, functionality and home decor.  It is my hope that these lamps last for generations.

What makes your business stand out?

I have yet to meet another potter that specializes in lamps. Given that the process to create each lamp requires 20+ steps and can take 6-8 weeks to complete… I might be the only person crazy enough to do it! But the process is why I enjoy making lamps. I often have a specific design in mind when I start each lamp, but when I go through the process of working with the clay and firing, the natural element of the clay influences the final design. The design of the lamp base influences the glaze, which influences the size of the shade and the material of the shade. There are infinite possibilities that shape each finished lamp. One of my favorite part of the process is working with customers to create custom lamps to match their individual style and their unique homes. The countless possibilities and variations, including ones I haven’t thought of yet, are my motivation to keep creating.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best advice I've received is to never make anything you are not proud of and to never sell anything you wouldn't buy yourself. I hold very high standards for the lamps I create. If I do not like the finished piece, I either change the design until I am proud of it or I destroy it. While destroying work might appear harsh, I learned a long time ago that if you did not completely destroy your mistakes, fellow studio artists would fish it out of the trash and take it home. I have gladly traded some of my best pieces to properly re-dispose of those found items just so I would be proud of the work displayed in their home.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.