All art requires courage. -Anne Tucker
Like many people who are driven to create, I have spent my lifetime testing my passions in all sorts of mediums. While majoring in Art and Graphic Design at the University of South Carolina, I took so many fun classes: printmaking, photography, painting, drawing... but I never had time for ceramics. It was something I had really wanted to try, so years later, in the Fall of 2008, I ventured into unknown territory and took a class at our local museum. I immediately fell in love with clay, particularly the feel of it in my hands, but also for the endless possibilities there are for this beautiful medium... no matter how amazing the end product, all of it starts out as nothing more than mud.
I took additional classes, asked lots of questions, watched YouTube videos... whatever it took to learn this craft. I didn't really have a focus, though. I gave most of my things to friends or family, and posted photos of the occasional wonky pot on Facebook. As people watched my progress, they began to send me requests for specific pieces, so I thought, "Maybe I should open a shop on Etsy." But I needed a name...
In coming up with a name for my new "business", a friend of mine from design school suggested I do a word study: write down all of the words that applied to what I was doing, including the tools, process, materials, and even the way making ceramics made me feel. The word "crave" found its way onto my list, because I recalled that first class, and how I could not WAIT to get back to it. Between sessions I daydreamed about the feel of the clay, the satisfaction of centering on the wheel, and the thrill of seeing the surprises that would come out of the kiln. I CRAVED it. Perfect.
Business was pretty slow for a while. Mostly, it was still my friends and family who bought things from me, and that was great. The fact that someone wanted to give me actual money for something I'd made with my hands was very validating. But I wasn't stretching myself; I wasn't growing as a maker. I was working out of my home, and with two boys and all of the splendid chaos that goes on around raising children, I found myself endlessly distracted by life and all of its have-to-dos. I needed my own creative space... a studio perhaps.
In 2011, a good friend informed me about a tiny, VERY humble space in the back of an old building in the arts district, that would soon be available for studio rental. Here's where the courage part comes in. I was definitely going to get retail foot traffic in this space, so all of my fears about not being good enough came to the surface. Fortunately, I am surrounded by a tremendous group of amazing artists, friends and family who encouraged me to take the plunge. My husband was my biggest cheerleader, and never doubted me for a second. So I took a breath, signed the lease, and got to work on making this place my own.
And so it began... Crave Studio. In May of 2011, I opened the doors to my first brick and mortar studio/shop space and never looked back. In fact, three months later I moved into a larger space right up front. It has been an amazing journey, with a few downs, but mostly lots and lots of ups. I have grown so much over the years as Crave has flourished. I have been challenged as a maker, a business owner, a friend, a mother, and a wife... and every bit of it has been so good. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to do something that I love. I have a map in my studio with pins in all of the cities where my pieces have been shipped. Occasionally, I stand there and look at it (I've quit counting how many pins are in it, now), and I think back to the day that I had the courage to take the leap. The net did indeed appear.
Thank you for checking out the online shop and I hope you like what you see.