April 14, 2017
by The Handmade Market
Hannah Martin from HeartMoss Pottery
Describe your style, influences, inspiration, and what you plan to bring:
I never thought I would be a potter! It never crossed my mind as even a remote possibility. If I was lucky, I thought maybe I could be a writer or a teacher or maybe just work some not-too-horrible office job. But then my wife sat me down at the potter’s wheel the first time, and it was like something inside me clicked into place. I was at home in my own body in a way I didn’t know was possible.
I’m obsessed with things like movement, rhythm, and flow while making a piece, something I often describe as a dance with dirt, and this translates into shapes and designs reflective of that dance. Since I develop a lot of my own glazes, I also work on having color combinations that reveal the movement of the glaze over the piece in the kiln. In my glazes, I choose depth and volatility.
As a large woman, I’ve been subtly (and not-so-subtly) encouraged my entire life to not take up space: as a result my favorite pieces to make are ones that respond to these societal pressures by taking up lots of space! I love throwing bowls and vases that can barely fit in my kiln, or that take up a little too much room on a table.
These larger pieces in combination with my visually distinct glazes tend to be what people see first, but it’s the extreme functionality of my regular-sized work that most often goes home with them. My best seller, for example, is a travel mug that includes a closing lid that is completely dishwasher and microwave friendly. Because a piece of art that you can take your coffee to work in every morning is, in my estimation, the best mix of both form and function.
In you experience, what has been your best venue for selling your work:
My work is best seen in person and, if possible, in the sunlight. I have found that selling work online is my worst avenue, but if I can get a piece into someone’s hands when they can see the nuance of color and the sparkle of the microcrystals, then I’m more likely to have a “customer for life”, which is what I’m striving for.
What is your favorite way to put yourself in the mood for creativity?:
Early morning when I’m well-rested and have a good cup of coffee is my favorite time to work. We have a little farm with sheep, pigs, chickens, cats, dogs, etc. I love to be up early and stand outside in the crisp pre-dawn spring/summer air for a few minutes, then head down to the studio, which is in the basement of our home. Depending on what I’m working on, I listen to a wide variety of music or, if I’m sloughing through some of the more mundane tasks required in the studio, I listen to audiobooks. My spouse and I often work in the studio together when she has the chance, but I also revel in my my alone time working with clay.
What is the weirdest job you have ever had?:
While I’ve had a number of strange jobs (liquor sampler, for example), the job that still makes me chortle a bit was when I served in the military: my first ship as a young Naval Officer was a “command ship”, which means we had a lot of military big-wigs onboard. Part of our job was to pull into foreign ports, but up a big tent on the fo’c’sle of the ship, pull out the champagne and shrimp cocktail, and entertain the local dignitaries and diplomats. I managed to travel all over Asia via the power of shrimp cocktail, and in the process also managed to work through my innate shyness enough to talk to complete strangers about absolutely nothing.
Which artist at The Handmade Market are you excited to see/meet?:
I’m very excited to see the work at Free Range and Feral! The whole mix of artists that have been chosen for The Handmade Market look amazing, and I have a feeling I’m going to have a hard time getting out of there without buying from a bunch of them. It’s one of the joys of going to a well-juried show!
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For the full vendor gallery, and all the details you’ll ever need about The Handmade Market, go here! See you May 13th!