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We interviewed two of the great folks at STARworks for this interview (Erin Younge, Clay Studio Director & Bill Jones, Production Potter):
Why do you do what you do?
Bill Jones: Pots can occupy spaces and reach people that the larger art world might not always be able to. I try to make beautiful things to use.
Erin Younge: I love the diversity that my job entails and it has everything to do with the place that I work. STARworks is a multifaceted non-profit organization founded 12 years ago that organically became an art-centric entity over time. I use the Clay Studio to develop new programming and opportunities that foster a growing awareness for the vitality, culture, consumerism and material research tied to the ceramic arts. These are all things that make me feel like a better artist and educator.
How long have you been doing it?
Bill Jones: I’ve been making pots full-time for 4 years.
Erin Younge: I starting working at STARworks in 2015, and in that time we’ve built the Clay Studio program from the ground up. We developed a growing ceramic Artist in Residence program, annual events, workshops and a variety of production lines that we make throughout the year. We make ceramic pieces for STARworks that we sell through our store, and we take on clients from different backgrounds that work with us to create unique designs from thrown tableware to slip-casted sculptural objects. The balance of education and production keeps the studio alive and exciting. This kind of activity is how we came to meet Mindful Supply Co. and why we’re partnering with them.
What does it mean to you to be Mindful?
Erin Younge: Savvy consumers probably watch their food more often than anything else, but as craftsman, clay makers and ceramic material researchers, we pay close attention to where our materials for our craft come from.
How are you Mindful in your craft?
On the ground floor of our facilities at STARworks is a ceramic supply store, materials testing and clay factory. We make our own pottery clay bodies with as much locally mined North Carolina materials as possible. This allows us better control over our product because the source is accessible and unadulterated by commercial industry. Being mindful to the practices of commercial industry and its affects on our products allowed us to come up with a solution to create a better product for our craft and consumers.
What do you love about Mindful Supply the brand?
Erin Younge: What I find to be the most exciting thing about the Mindful company and their brand is that it is so inspiring and familiar. At STARworks we sell handmade pieces of ceramic, glass and textiles, and each time we interact with a customer we can tell them who made it, where they’re from and encourage them to meet or find the artist. And in most cases we can say that the work was made at STARworks and the majority of the ceramic pieces were made out of STARworks clay, which is so exciting for us. The fact that Mindful Supply takes the same approach to craft and consumerism makes us want to support what they are doing and partner with them in any way possible. Watch what you consume, get it local and be able to love the story behind it too.
Where is your studio located and please share your contact info for sales.
100 Russell Drive, Star, NC 27356
Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm
Schoolhouse Gallery at STARworks
Ceramic Supply Shop or Clay Studio