Bridges Pottery LLC
Tell us about your business.I have been working in clay for three decades. I am primarily self-taught -no MFA here. As a teenager, I had great support from my father who was an artist that worked in iron. As an apprentice for many years I learned my craft from some great potters that created work in the traditional New England style of functional ware. I developed a strong commitment to high quality craftsmanship. Today I am a one-woman studio potter. I work both on the potter's wheel and do hand building using slabs and coils. Almost all of my work is functional - kitchen, table and home. I am very involved in using texture as a surface decoration. I have a small studio of my own and I teach adult ceramics at a nearby studio. My business has greatly evolved over the past four years from a small business with only local presence to a larger business that ships internationally. My Artisan Yarn Bowls are used around the world by yarn enthusiasts. With a weighted body, it's stable and beautiful.
Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.Most of my work is done in my own small studio. Small is an understatement. I have honed the art of small space efficiencies and developed a workflow that allows me to produce a large body of work in a limited space. I look forward to being able to expand my studio but for right now the convenience of being close to home is paramount.
What inspires you?Inspiration comes from a variety of sources. Textiles and patterns have always played a big role and influenced my work. Repeating patterns, whether in nature of manmade objects often catch my eye and I look to find ways to draw from them for my clay surface.
What makes your business stand out?My work is elegantly crafted and beautifully functional. Made for everyday use, not just display. No fear in using it. Most of my work is one of a kind, or part of a family. I make each pot, one by one. The small imperfections are what make my work perfect- perfectly crafted by hand. I make a few items that are special to me and unique. I make bowls that have a rim that looks a but like the start of a honeycomb, thus the name. They are very decorative but functional as well. I also make some very unique colanders and berry bowls. The handles are cut out of the body of the piece - at the rim. They are then hand drilled in a variety of patterns. My artisan yarn bowls have also become a standard piece in my collection. As a knitter I was determined to make a better bowl. It is quite heavy, weighted towards the bottom for better stability. Heres a video of my Artisan yarn bowls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eBcAVo05Ww
What's the best business advice you've received?Buy good equipment. Buy a step above or bigger than what you think you need now. It wasn't long before this became true.
What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?Don't spread yourself too thin. Develop your own style and not someone else's. Too often we see people jumping on the bandwagon of a trend and never really putting in the time and effort to create their own style and approach.
What does American Made mean to you?American Made simply means created in the United States with some genuine thought to keeping it local. Making it locally available vs. having to source from far way.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
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