Getting to Know Us
I'm still learning how to connect authentically online but I'm here and ready to say hi! That said, we are long overdue for a quick share about ourselves so I've decided to go with an interview format for brevity and easy scanning.
WHY DID YOU FIRST START WORKING WITH CLAY?
Saundra: I first starting working with clay back in highschool. It was the only elective that interested me at the time. Initially, it felt kind of silly but I started to really fall in love with the craft and apply myself. Kat and I often chuckle when I bring up a tile re-creation of Starry Night I entered into a highschool art competition, and placed. Still holding on to that win! Fast forward to my late twenties when I was experiencing a pretty heavy depression and I started to work with clay again. Working with the material helped me get back into my body and back into the present moment in a way that was incredibly healing.
Kat: Saundra started taking pottery classes and I thought it would be cute if I joined for one or two. I ended up really loving the process of forming something with my hands, which kind of brought me back to my art school days where packaging was my favorite class. "One or two lessons" became "all of the lessons!" and suddenly I was a part-time ceramicist!
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE?
Saundra: Initially, I wanted to create fun pieces that would brighten up someone's dinner table. We were developing some very solid, vital friendships at the time and so many of my happiest moments were at a friend's table, sharing a glass of natural wine and laughing at the silliness of life. I would imagine others washing our pieces, giggling to themselves at shared moments with friends or family. Since then my inspiration has shifted quite a bit. I had a big birthday a couple years ago and experienced THE crisis everyone warned me about where you start to really question who you are. My inspiration is now coming from a place of self-inquiry, play and time-traveling in a sense to understand my ancestry and current place in time.
Kat: I take in a lot of visual media to help keep my brain happy throughout the day so I get most of my daily inspiration from following artists of different sorts from all over the world. I think I've trained my Pinterest feed to be pretty key-ed into things that interest me so scrolling through that feed is always a great way to get the brain going. Hot tip is to follow a variety of different things! I look to packaging design, graphic design, interior design, textile design, industrial design,... etc. I'm all over the place!
WHAT WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF SO FAR?
Saundra: I have to talk about two pieces, heh, because each resembles a different strength in my work and in my process. My first would be my Dinner Plate in our Baja Coast Collection. I didn't learn wheel-throwing in highschool so I started from scratch with these and I focused a lot of time and energy on getting these to a weight that felt acceptable, durable and functional at keeping tasty sauces on the plate. My second piece is my Tiny Sculpture, which I made sometime around my big birthday which was a few months into the pandemic. I was really digging deep at this time and asked myself to create something that felt expressive and less focused on function. This piece brought me so much joy from conception, to constructing, to styling for photos and it ignited an excitement to explore clay in new ways.
Kat: I'm a somewhat non-sentimental person so my "favorite piece" is usually my most recent piece, which at this moment is my cement planter series. It started off as something I was doing for our home but I fell in love with the process and now I'm constantly dreaming up new cement planter designs.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU'VE FACED?
Saundra: Mental Health involving mood, energy/motivation and confidence in myself and vision as a creative. The pandemic put an even larger spotlight on these challenges, but the benefit is with more clarity I better understand my options, pathways and resources for supporting myself as a creative. Planning to write more about this process and creativity as a healing tool later on.
Kat: Oof. Where to start? Imposter syndrome? Artist block? Time and energy constraints? I work as a product designer full-time and so I don't have as much time to work on Lawa pieces as I'd like, and when I do have time, energy is a big issue for me. Just mustering up the energy to actually start work on Lawa pieces is the biggest hurdle but once I do get going, I kind of just fall down a rabbit hole and the next thing I know, the day is gone.
One tip for getting yourself to "just do the damn thing" is to set the environment for it. Ease into it. Maybe spend a few minutes going over your sketches or scrolling through an inspiration board, then once you're in the creative mindset, only then should you really get started.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT OR YOURSELF A FEW YEARS AGO?
Saundra: Not knowing what you're doing and the fear/doubt that ensues is completely normal. Openly listen to those who are encouraging and supporting you to develop your skills. Do your best to tune out the rest. When you receive a compliment, pause, appreciate it. Set boundaries and keep showing up for yourself no matter what feedback you're getting.
Kat: Just do it. There will always be a million and one reasons why you shouldn't or why now might not be a good time, but I think dipping a toe in is never a bad thing. I have started and dropped more hobbies and crafts than I can remember but I don't regret a single instance.
Thanks for taking the time to read and connect with us! We're excited to share with you all more often and reveal some of the goodies we've been working on soon!