Happy International Women’s Day! In celebration of women, the work we do, and the world that we shape, here is a round-up of artwork and ceramics by women makers that I’ve been loving lately.
There is something feminine and strong about these paintings by Bernadette Marie Pascua. She is a multi-disciplinary artist based in New York City.
Humble Ceramics, created by by Belgian-born artist Delphine, offers artisan pottery made with mindfulness and intention in South Los Angeles, one small batch at a time. I love their Alder tumblers.
On Society6 you can find art prints by Tracie Andrews, an abstract artist based in the UK. The considered colors and shapes make me smile.
Bobby Clark is a Scottish artist and photographer who currently lives in Melbourne, Australia. Her latest artworks “explore the symmetry and balance of shapes, creating minimal studies of shape composition,” which I find both meditative and inspiring.
I covet this small half mesa bowl from OATMEAL. Elise Birnbaum is a maker and founder of OATMEAL, where objects are designed and made with care in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — ethically and with respect for the material and the people they are making for.
Support women, support artists. Happy International Women’s Day.
This lovely maker was a happenstance find while in Seattle — meet Baleen! Billy and Leah started Baleen in 2013 when they saw a niche for quality, affordable handmade jewelry they decided to fill, and their fresh and sculptural jewelry is all handmade in Seattle, WA. Their jewelry is eco-friendly in a number of ways: about 95% of their materials (silver, brass, and gold-fill) are made from recycled metals, they are a zero-waste manufacturer, their nickel-free and conflict-free gold-plating facility is also zero-waste, and their packaging is printed locally on recycled paper made in Michigan in a green, water-powered factory. And besides all of this, their jewelry is just plain beautiful!
I fell in love with their Fifty/Fifty earrings when I came across them in the Seattle Art Museum store, then bought yet another pair of their earrings as I shopped at the delightful Butter Home shop at Melrose Market. Their Herkimer studs almost came home with me as well and still might.
If you’d like to visit, Baleen’s workshop and storefront is located right in Ballard, or you can shop online to your heart’s content. Necklaces, bracelets, pins, rings… so many fun things to choose from. And as someone with a mild nickel allergy, I can vouch that their jewelry is comfortable and worry free to wear. Thank you, Baleen!
Next up is a maker a could not be more tickled about: meet Zuri, a company striving to embody good in everything they do. Zuri offers a streamlined product lineup that includes dresses, shirts, bags and baskets that come in tons of amazing prints and colorways, all inspired by kitenge and ankara, the traditional wax print fabrics of east and west Africa.
“The history of African textiles is a global story, both ancient and modern, and a powerful symbol of the changing tides of culture, politics, and trade. While we are continuously inspired by the beauty of these textiles, we’re also motivated by the history that they represent and the opportunity they offer to create social and economic change.”
Founders Sandra and Ashleigh spent a combined 8 years in Nairobi, and saw firsthand how both corruption and aid can distort markets. It is their hope “that by paying fair wages, sourcing locally, and making a product that our customers truly love, we will be helping to support a long-term, sustainable economy in Kenya.” Zuri’s production partners SOKO and Tushone in Kenya are focused on ethical and sustainable practices, and also on building and supporting communities. Their clothing is wax-print cotton, and their totes are crafted with all-natural fiber Kenyan sisal.
Not only do they do well by their production and suppliers, but they offer a more inclusive size range than many brands out there. Many of their items are available from size XS through to 2XL, with styles that are made to flatter most body types. Sustainable, ethically produced, community-oriented, AND size-inclusive? I am sold.
I purchased the Nuclear print dress and loved it so much that I purchased the Trivial Pursuit version a few weeks later. I don’t think I have ever gotten as many compliments on a single item of clothing. And as a delightful extra touch, each was shipped in a surprise printed tote bag.
Their name is inspired by the Swahili word mzuri, which means good. And their tagline? “Look good. Feel good. Do good.” I feel great in my dresses, and I feel even better knowing what a difference you are making in so many people’s lives. Bravo, Zuri!
Next up in my little series of makers is the delightful Canadian ceramicist Cathy Terepocki. She appeared on my radar with her lovely Ontario line at Anthropologie, and now I can’t get enough of her beautiful Instagram images and down-to-earth ethos. (Yes, I may have a set of plates from her line that were more of a want than a need. #sorrynotsorry)
Visit Anthropologie if you’d like a piece (or eight) from her Ontario line, or visit her website for some beautiful videos, photos of her work, and of course, the opportunity to shop her wares. Or if you need a semi-regular dose of her style like I seem to, you can follow her on Instagram.
I’ve been gravitating towards clean lines and simple ceramics of late, and these dishes are just about perfect. I love the shapes, the soft pink hue combined with graphic neutrals, and their conscious and creative business model. Really the only question now is what combination of colors and shapes I’ll be buying to create my own set!
Next in my little series on makers I love and support, allow me to introduce Block Shop textiles. I love their products, and love their company ethos. Their Oxbow scarf is draped around my neck as I type this!
Block Shop is a textile studio run by two sisters based in Los Angeles and Jaipur. They design on paper, print with wooden blocks, and dye in small batches. And the best part? Not only do they employ local artisans and use vegetable and mineral dyes in keeping with local textile traditions, they invest 5% of annual profits in their Bagru women’s empowerment program.
Their website and Instagram have photos and videos that highlight the hand block printing process, which fascinated and delighted me. It is so easy to buy things with a click these days that I think our curiosity about making and creating has fallen by the wayside. Block Shop is doing a great job reawakening inquisitiveness.
Block Shop’s textiles are simple and beautiful, and I covet the serene simplicity of their woodblock prints. This bright and cozy corner designed by Emily Henderson is everything I want in a room. And I would fill my entire house with their pillows and quilts if I could!
With Block Shop textiles, I love that I can feel good about the products they offer. I can purchase a well-considered item to have and use forever, created by hand with time-honored methods. I hope you find a little inspiration in what they do, and perhaps something beautiful for your own home as well!
This weekend I took a few days off and headed to San Francisco, where I spent one delightful and inspiring afternoon at Heath Ceramics. I wanted to bring everything home! then figured it would be easier to just live in their glorious store! Spoiler: I finally settled for a pair of beautiful items to bring home and some lovely photos to share.
Founded in Sausalito, California, in 1948, Heath Ceramics products are handcrafted by skilled artisans in small runs in the Bay Area. They believe in “making good things for good people—the right way,” which is a philosophy that I love and support 100%.