Hello BBB buddies!
Hope everyone is doing A-OK in the wake of Ms. Sandy! You know what was essential during yesterday’s storm? HOT BEVERAGES. Tea, coffee, hot cocoa – IDK about you guys, but I had one of each. And what better way to enjoy a hot beverage than in a lovely mug handcrafted by Arielle from Small Spaces Ceramics! Let’s learn a little more about her and her unique creations.
Hi there! First things first: What’s your name, what’s your business name, where are you from, and where are you currently located/crafting?
Hi! I’m Arielle C. C. Mossberg, the one and only lady behind Small Spaces Ceramics. I’m from Michigan originally, but I’ve been living and working in Somerville for seven years. I work out of Mudflat Studios in Somerville.
How did you get your start? Please tell us a little bit about how your business went from an idea to what is is today.
I started playing around with clay when I was a little kid – my parents signed me up for a kid’s wheel throwing class. It was in high school, and more so in college when I caught the bug, and I’ve been creating functional, unique ceramics ever since. I always gave handmade gifts (and still do), so it made sense to keep making art, but when my home was getting overrun with my handmade pieces I decided I should at least try to see if there was a place for my work in the world.
What inspires you the most to create?
I took a month-long road trip across the country and back this summer with my husband. We stopped in 17 cities, saw a ton of art, and ate a distressing amount of food. The whole trip was so inspiring. Seeing the Native American pottery in Santa Fe, the expansive salt flats in Salt Lake City, the Flatirons in Boulder… Everything I saw made me want to get my hands in clay. I think I’m inspiried by adding to all the beauty around this country!
What are your favorite materials to work with?
CLAY! Woohoo! I thrown mainly with brown stoneware, but I have used porcelain in the past. I love the chemistry behind ceramics, and the total basic primal needs that it fulfills. I love the fire that’s needed to make things work, and how connected the whole craft is to the earth.
Do you have a favorite color palette?
Yes and no. I have favorite glazes and glaze combinations (turquoise and yellow, red and purple, and more), but I’ve been surprising myself lately with odd things that I end up liking. I just recently started lining most of my mugs with a white shiny glaze, and I’m shocked at how much I like it.
Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business? (Nothing TOP-SECRET, of course!)
I don’t know if this is super exciting, but I’m devoting more time than ever to my ceramics, which means my output of art is going to grow. So I think the exciting thing is making my business bigger and better.
What are some other things you like to do when you are not busy making awesome stuff?
I have another job – I’m an art therapist – so that takes up a fair amount of time, and on top of that, I run, I bake, I read, I see concerts with my awesome husband, and try to have a modicum of a social life.
What are the top 3 reasons someone shopping at the BBB 2012 should be sure to stop by your table?
- Free cookies! Seriously.
- My stuff is so much fun to touch. I’m a tactile person, so I create a lot of touchable pieces. People often notice my mug handles look “upside down,” and I love when people pick them up and find out how comfortable they really are to hold!
- Did I mention free cookies? Several kinds!
What is your favorite background noise to listen to while working?
I work out of a community studio, so I’m often listening to the background noise of a bustling hive of artists. Other times I have my headphones in and will listen to a variety of podcasts (This American Life, 99% Invisible, Stop Podcasting Yourself, Radiolab, etc) or music. Lots and lots of music.
What is your favorite mythical beast and what do you think their favorite crafty past time is?
My first thought was a Griffin. I like that eagle-lion combination. I like to think a griffin would be really into knitting. Multiple body types equals needing socks or scarves, depending on the weather.
Thanks, Arielle! See you in December!