Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jaimie Merrell - Jaimie Ware

Jaimie Merrell started selling her exquisite handmade functional studio porcelain on Etsy in November, 2011. I had the opportunity to interview Jaimie about how she got involved with ceramics, what inspires her and more.  

Q. How long have you been doing ceramics? 

 Jaimie: I have been consistently making ceramic work for about 10 years, but I also remember absolutely loving the medium as a child. The feel of clay is amazing! I officially started my business Jaimie Ware last summer.

Q. How did you get started doing pottery/ceramics?  

 Jaimie: I became very excited about ceramics when I was in high school. My mother had her own small business teaching art when I was growing up, and I quickly realized I wanted to be an art teacher. When I went off to college at Syracuse University I eagerly wanted more and more ceramics classes and discovered I wanted a career in ceramics. 

Q. What do you make?
In the past, I have made large sculptural ceramic vessels, but right now I am making a lot of functional pottery including bowls, mugs and egg cups. I have recently started making jewelry also. Most of my work is mid-range porcelain.

Q. What have been some of your biggest accomplishments and proudest moments regarding your work and shop?

Jaimie: My first sale on Etsy to someone I didn’t know put me over the moon, and my more recent first item featured on the Etsy home page was another great victory! I also had my first solo show this February, and that was very exciting to organize and promote.

Q. Where do you see your business and shop in the next few years?

Jaimie: One of my goals for my shop is to sell enough work so that I have to keep up with the sales and replace items. I have started making jewelry as very saleable products, but I would like to start making more of the larger and more personal sculptures that I haven’t made in years.

Q. What are your favorite items currently listed in your shop?
Jaimie: I am really excited about my egg cups/shot glasses that I call Tiny Dancers. The first ones that I made were commissioned, and I loved making such tiny pieces. I have encountered a number of challenges in their construction, but I think they are worth pursuing.

Blue Tiny Dancer Egg Cup
White Tiny Dancer Egg Cup

Textured Hug Knot Necklace

The mugs and my Hug Knot jewelry are my other favorites. I like to play with a balance of texture and smooth porcelain.

Q. What inspires your work and life?

Jaimie: This recent body of work has changed and developed from a single initial ceramic object that was formed out of a moment of anxiety and a plethora of interesting tools to work with. I have continued to use these textures and organic shapes to create a series of sea-like vessels. My work has inspiration from nature as well as a playful Disney influence. Also, I am very grateful to my boyfriend Joe, who pushes me to keep going when I am in a rut. He helps with most of my photography and promotional tools.

Q. When you're not working on your Etsy shop, what occupies your time?

Jaimie: I recently graduated from a masters program at VCU, and I am now working part time teaching ceramics and art to high school students. I also sell my work at farmer’s markets in Richmond, Virginia. I spend my summers working at a girl’s camp in New Hampshire called Camp Nokomis, where I run the Craftshop and teach waterskiing. Besides working, I love to swim, dance with Joe, and spend time with my orange cat Dexter.

Q. What else would you like us to know about your shop, your creations and you?

Jaimie: My love of clay stems from growing up playing in the mud. I find that the process of making is a bit of an obsession and it may be my way of building a connection with others. I feel as thought the careful attention I give to each object brings me closer to each person that handles my creations.

Also, I will take commissions and I am open to collaborations and working with other artists on Etsy.

In addition to her Etsy shop, Jaimie Ware you can find Jaimie here:
Jaimie's Blog
Jaimie's Facebook
Jaimie's Tumblr
Jaimie's Pinterest

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