June 2, 2017

Creative Dwellings: Makers in Their Home Studios

Creativity flourishes in cozy spaces, which is why it’s no surprise that our featured makers thrive in their home studios. There’s a level of intimacy and comfort that a home studio provides, and each maker’s proximity to their work helps maintain a close connection between the artist and his or her pieces. From Portland and San Diego to the foothills of northern Virginia, this week’s artisans have expertly designed their home studio spaces to yield some pretty amazing results. Here’s a look at the creative lives of the artists behind vitrifiedstudio, Sawyer Ceramics, and The White Hearth.

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Based out of Portland, Oregon, vitrifiedstudio is a home-based ceramics studio run by Shelley Martin. After purchasing their current home, Shelley and her partner Mitch converted the garage into a shared pottery and woodworking studio where Shelley could practice and hone her skills as a ceramicist. The studio is just down the path from their front door, allowing Shelley to work closely with her medium and develop new ideas. Shelley’s ceramics are largely representative of the natural beauty of her west-coast backyard, with two-toned minimal designs like in this complete dinnerware set.

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Further south along the west coast, Jonathan Sawyer runs his small pottery studio, Sawyer Ceramics, out of his San Diego home. With help from his studio assistant, Jonathan produces functional everyday pieces for local businesses, restaurants, retailers, and individual customers. All of this is made possible by the studio’s large built-in glaze-firing kiln and ample rows of well-organized shelving, which is frequently filled with mugs, saucer sets, and sponge holders in progress. Sawyer’s Ceramic French Butter Keeper and tilted saltcellar have become some of the most coveted handmade items in the kitchen design world.

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Last but not least, the hub of creation for ceramics studio The White Hearth is centered on the cozy home space of a gifted young artisan named Talia Olmstead. This teenage creative makes elegant plates, bowls, as well as these adorable Colonial White Pinch Bowls from her home studio in northern Virginia. When the weather is nice, Talia works with the windows open and moves between her throwing wheel and basement kiln. Tall ceiling-height shelving behind her wheel allows Talia to stock her handmade pieces as they dry or cool, keeping her constantly connected to the items she creates.

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All three of these skilled makers have crafted rich, productive environments from which to work. As a necessary first step in any studio, their streamlined use of space and disciplined production routine helps them deliver beautiful items and keep their studio running smoothly. Their proximity to home and personalized creative touch add just the right dose of magic to their daily life, allowing them to produce cherished goods that function as small tokens of their unique vision.

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Are there any home-based artisans we missed? Let us know by tagging them on our social channels below!

You can also find these makers on Instagram:

@vitrifiedstudio

@sawyerceramics

@thewhitehearth