Finding a unique creative voice in the modern handmade ceramic universe can be a real challenge. Yet, time and again, I’m amazed at the diversity and creativity that exists. This is certainly the case with Cara Taylor, the designer behind Taylor Ceramics. Cara’s work is a stunningly beautiful and serene collection of vessels, designed for daily use and double as sculptural works of art. I’m thrilled to introduce her work to you today. Enjoy this fresh interview and then visit her shop for yourself. Images: Chattman Photography
What inspired you to begin your collection?
Each collection is inspired by a wheel thrown or hand building process. I like to think about structure and function of form and then consider the additions of subtle details. Line is always a commanding factor whether it’s an actual drawn line, the line of linen wrapped around a vessel or the line created by the edge of a hand built vase.
Describe your creative process. Where do you start?
I start wherever I can – sometimes it’s in my head, sometimes it’s an accident and sometimes it’s a matter of repetition and just continuous making until something happens that resonates with me. I find that it’s not always the same and I’ll take what I can get, trying new things and ways of working that feel necessary.
How do you maintain your creative drive?
I have a very routine studio practice but I build in time for exploration as much as possible. As a production potter I use templates, take measurements into consideration so that pieces are consistent but I often have scraps and leftovers so I challenge myself to use them in interesting ways or make sketches out of them as a way to be creative and think in different ways. That often leads to other things. I also know the importance of time off and away from the studio, that helps to inspire creativity.
What materials do you love to use?
I love incorporating fibers into my work. For the last several years I have been stitching waxed linen cord into some of my pieces. The element of line is actual and the possible configurations are endless. I dream of incorporating leather into my work but nothing has presented itself yet…
About the brand: Founded in 2009 by Cara Taylor, Taylor Ceramics is a line of handmade porcelain vessels and planters for the home and table. What started out as an intuitive process of playing with clay provided the foundation for the variety of forms in each unique collection.
Do you have a dream collaborator?
My dream collaborator is my partner Kim Rosen of Fayce Textiles. She has a background in graphic design and illustration and recently started a line of textiles. Our studios are next to each other but we are both so busy we haven’t been able to bring our two creative worlds together. My other dream collaborator is my friend Liz Karney, shop owner of Sticks and Bricks – she makes furniture and lamps and I think we would be a dream team designing lighting.
How do you use social media and blogging to promote your work?
I use Instagram as it’s the only social media tool that I have ever felt comfortable using. It’s simple and it makes sense to me, I like connecting with other makers as well as customers.
About the maker: I use porcelain to create forms that speak to the aspects of life where I find meaning and create ritual – mugs, cups, and serving pieces to use with friends and family at mealtime as well as vessels to hold the plants and garden clippings that transform a house into a home.
My inspiration comes from the ways in which I imagine working. Besides throwing on the wheel I love to work with thin slabs of clay and experiment with the ways in which I can fold, bend and wrap the flat sheets into 3d forms. I strive to create subtle curves, interesting overlaps and unique juxtaposition of materials by incorporating waxed linen stitching.
Where do you see your shop/project going?
I’d like to begin to work on a larger scale. My studio spaces have always been tiny and kiln size dictates size but I would like to buy a bigger kiln and make larger pieces.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am making a lot of double walled vessels on the potter’s wheel. They are planters and the idea is that there is a hole for drainage on the interior wall that empties into the enclosed cavity and cannot be seen from the exterior. They are really fun and challenging to make and hopefully soon I will be ready to share them with the world!