This week's featured Etsy artisan is Lisa of Bailey Bowls. Her shop is full of wonderful "whimsical and functional" ceramic pieces. I immediately fell in love with this beautiful berry colander:
And this "Bailey Bowl" (a dog bowl aptly named after Lisa's own pet) absolutely fits the definition of "whimsical" if you ask me! Isn't it too charming?
Enjoy the interview!
1. Please tell us about the items in your Etsy shop. What do you make? How did you learn your craft? What is involved in your creative process?
I make whimsical yet functional ceramics - pieces that will put a smile on someones face when the look at it or use it.
I learned to throw back in my early 20's, taking a ceramics class in Golden Gate park at night. I've loved it since. I now have my own pottery studio and all my pieces are created there.
Ceramics is a time intensive process. Pieces are either hand made or on a wheel and then set aside to dry. It then goes through the first firing (bisque firing) to about 1800 degrees. Then the piece is glazed and then fired again (glaze firing). This second firing is to a temperature of 1800 or 2200 depending on the type of clay. Each piece takes me about 3 weeks to complete.
2. To which Etsy Teams do you belong?
SFEtsy and Etsy Mud Team
3. Tell us two (or more) other interesting things about you.
I love to garden. Something about having direct contact with the earth calms me down. I would be in the yard for hours and forget to eat.
I also knit and crochet and I have quite a stash of yarn to prove it.
4. What inspires your creations?
My dog Bailey inspires my Bailey-ware line. I put him on platters, sushi dishes, dog bowls, etc. My other pieces are inspired by nature. Some of my pieces are handmade while sitting in the woods. Textures are imprinted into the clay by leaves or Redwood needles. Sometimes branches are incorporated into the piece.
5. How did you get involved with Etsy?
One of my good friends pointed me to Etsy and suggested I sell some of my creations there. I signed up immediately after seeing all the cute stuff. It was a few months later that I finally listed my items. It has been a lot of work but I love to hear from my customers that they use their piece everyday day. :)
6. What is your favorite item in your shop? Why is it your favorite?
This is my favorite item:
It had been an idea brewing in my head forever. I had something similar in my wedding reception for all my guests but it was mass produced and didn't have as much character. So I did drawings and finally I made the set. I like the expressions on each pea's face. ;P
7. What has been your biggest success and/or proudest moment since opening your Etsy shop?
During my first year on etsy, one of my customers exchanged several emails with me. In the course of conversation, she told me a friend of hers made wedding combs. I mentioned that my wedding was coming up and would love to see these combs. Barely knowing me, she had one custom made for me and sent it to me from Spain as a wedding gift. I sent her the wedding photos that including that comb. This type of friendship would never have happened if not for Etsy. :)
8. Where else can we find out more about you and/or your creations?