Being Elliott + The Object Enthusiast
I constantly find myself inspired by the craft of pottery. So when I discovered the work of The Object Enthusiast I craved to know the story behind each vessel. I talked to the creator, Emily Reinhardt , and she kindly shared her passion with Being Elliott. Enjoy the interview below!
1. How did you get your start with designing ceramics?
I started taking a ceramics course in college for my art education degree. Within a few weeks I had already been to my advisor to change my fine arts concentration to ceramics. I was completely in love with making pottery. I had excellent teachers to challenge and motivate me, and I’ve never regretted it!
2. What inspires you to create?
My projects stem from lots of little ideas and thoughts I collect day to day. I'm a treasure lover! I hold on to tiny little things because they came from somewhere special or they used to belong to someone special, and I've got to have a place to keep all that stuff. So, I build it. I like making vessels and trays and dishes that are meant to hold those extra special things, or even become something special by themselves. I love knowing that my objects are used in people's lives, and I want to build spaces for people to keep their most treasured items.
3. What do you love about working with clay?
I love working with clay because it’s my chance to make a mess. I’m happiest when I have clay under my nails, and dust on my jeans. It just feels right to me. Getting lost in the studio in the afternoons, just completely wrapped up in my thoughts around making things is what I strive for.
4. Do you have a favorite piece you have made?
My favorite items I made are actually from my sculpture days. For my graduate gallery show I made these organic floral tubes. I used to make ceramic sculpture being inspired by nature and the way humans manipulate nature. These pieces hang on the wall and today I picture them with a single dried flower inside of them. They’re one of the only old projects I’ve kept.
5. Describe your style aesthetic.
I love earthy minimalism with a touch of shine. I love earth tones, browns, greens, and things with speckles – colors that appear to have emerged from the ground or from nature. The gold leaf started as something completely unintentional, it was a way to hide a minor glaze imperfection on one of the best bud vases I’d ever made! After that, I loved the gold addition, and I haven’t looked back since!
6. Any current obsessions you would like to share?
There are a few right now: peppermint tea, coconut oil hair care, ZUM lip balm, challenging myself with photography and downsizing my possessions! I’m having a yard sale in a few weeks, and I feel pretty good about getting rid of unnecessary things and doing some spring cleansing!
7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” I’m not quite sure who said this, but I’ve heard it many times from my mom. It stayed with me because I have a tendency to get stuck in a rut, and unable to decide which direction to go. Knowing when you need to change as an artist is a huge deal. When things aren’t working, you’ll have to adjust and keep a fresh perspective on what you’re making.
8. If I were not a ceramics artist I would be....
If I were not a ceramic artist, I’d want to be a florist. I’ve always dreamed of owning a flower shop where I sold all of my own ceramic vase designs. I think that’s why I make so many vases. I always imagine a gorgeous bouquet in one of my vessels. The act of giving flowers to others will always be with us, and a vase is something the person gets to keep, even when the flowers have died.
9. Any advice you would like to give to aspiring ceramics designers?
Don’t lose momentum. Keep making work and really believe in yourself. I am living proof that you can do a lot with very little!
10. Any exciting designing plans for 2013?
I’m hoping to save enough money for a slab roller, a big piece of equipment for rolling out uniform slabs of clay for making dishes, platters and tiles. Once that happens I’d love to be making larger sized trays, catchalls, dishes and platters too. Until then I’ll keep working with my rolling pin.