Everyday Minerals Spotlight: Meet Anna
Hello! Tell us a bit about you and your work as a creative.
Hi! I'm Anna, the owner/potter behind Pepper Stone Ceramics. I was living and working in Wilmington, North Carolina when Covid hit and I became temporarily unemployed. During that time I was left thinking about what I really wanted to do with my life and my work. I had 5 years of experience in ceramics through college courses and community studios, became quickly addicted to the craft, and started selling my pots at local markets. However, in 2019 I had to scale back due to having 2 jobs and no spare time. Flash forward to the beginning of Covid- unemployed, depressed, and thinking about what I really want to do, I realized ceramics was it. I started creating a business plan, eventually went back to work, and started saving money. I ended up quitting both jobs once our lease was up, moving to Charlottesville, Virginia with my partner Scott, and dove into business. Luckily for me, I have a degree in econ and work experience in marketing, which helps with running the business side. I had specific and unique products and glazes in my head that I wanted to create and just started. I bought my own wheel and kiln and set up a studio in a spare room in our home. Ceramics is the one thing that has been able to keep me interested. Hours go by like minutes, and you have to be present in the moment to succeed. And the experimentations with form, function, and glaze are limitless.
How do you go about seeking inspiration for your beautiful pieces and collections?
I love finding inspiration for my work in interior design, nature, emotions, and vintage pottery forms. I look to interior design for pattern inspo and shapes, nature & emotions for glaze colors and textures, and vintage ceramics for timeless shapes that I can transform into something new.
As an artist, have you ever felt a lack of inspiration? If so, how do you handle this?
YES. Of course. Honestly, I may go on pinterest and look for certain color themes or interior design shots that inspire me. I try to also keep a list on my notes app of random ideas I'll get for new products, glaze colors, vase shapes, etc. so when I am feeling lack on inspo I can reference that. In one day I may throw 50 of the same mug shape, and at the end of those days I like to create something fun just for me to get the creative juices flowing again. Sometimes I will make a one-off pot for myself that I have been wanting, or experiment with new product ideas from that notes app list. Often I just get on the wheel and see what happens organically.
Biggest goals for this year, in business? Personal goals?
The biggest goal this year in business is to scale up pots available in website sales and restocks once a month, scale down wholesale overall but get into more local shops, and raise at least twice as much money through my seasonal raffles. Personal goals include getting a therapist and making more friendships in this new town (shoutout to covid and working from home for making this so hard!)
The best piece of advice you could share with someone who is trying to explore an artform of their own...
I would say put in the hours and don't get discouraged if you aren't automatically great at something. Try to find a local studio or class to take. Good teachers make a huge difference when learning a new art form. I was TERRIBLE at throwing at first but through practice, patience, and tips, I am now able to throw consistent forms (and am always getting better). Most successful artists have 100's if not 1000's of hours behind their craft, and sometimes we forget that.
Where can everyone find your work & support you as a creative?
What is the main motivation for the career path you've chosen?
I want to create happiness in my life in as many spaces as I can. There's an overall acceptance, especially in the US, that it's okay to be miserable at work and live for the weekend, and I call BS. Work can be hard work, but it can also be fulfilling, and full of passion, and make you excited to get up in the morning.
How would you define your 'Soul's Purpose'?
This question is hard. But the most I can say is if I feel I have any purpose it is to spread moments of positive human connection. The idea of someone enjoying their morning cup of coffee a little bit more because it's in a certain handmade mug, made by another human being, is something I cherish. It allows you to pause for a moment of reflection, or peace, or joy, that before may have just been mundane routine. Helping elevate those small moments is something I feel grateful to provide.
SHOP WHAT'S IN ANNA'S BEAUTY WARDROBE: