Last week, when the frost was keeping the ground hard and our blooms hidden, we discovered Snowbound Pottery, a love-made design shop in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA that makes gorgeous, delicate vessels. Whether you use for your morning berries or first buds of the season, these hand-crafted porcelain clay pieces are delicate yet sturdy enough for everyday use. Creator Anna Kasablan has a way with words as well (she’s written 12 books) so we thought we’d let her tell us a bit about how Snowboard Pottery was born.
How did you began creating pottery?
In 2003, I began to work in bisque and then glaze after drawing for years. But I then wondered what I could do with raw clay. I took some lessons, and after five or six I realized I did not like the wheel, but LOVED working in my hand, or with minimal equipment to hand build what I could not form in my hand. There’s a wonderful creative freedom and surprise that came when I stopped concentrating on making things perfectly round and symmetrical.
I migrated pretty quickly to porcelain clay because I felt it would allow me to create unusual and unexpected forms that would be ultra thin.
We love your berry bowls. What was their inspiration?
That is a great little story. I was invited to do a trunk show in Marblehead, Ma at MacKimmie & Co. The owner, Doris asked if I ever considered doing a berry bowl. I hadn’t, but went home and created a bunch of individual berry bowls and decided to name them after her! My berry bowls were featured in House Beautiful in the July/August issue and have been a popular item since. I have expanded the berry bowl theme too, and now have Full Bloom berry bowls that recall flower blooms. I can make them with an under-dish but generally don’t because as single serving dishes they can look beautiful on any dish or china someone has—maybe even prettier.
Tell us a little bit about your technique.
Well, it all starts with a ball of clay in the palm of my hand, and then I just sit and keep working it into a shape with my fingers stretching and moving the clay. I do have a secret way to hold those wavey shapes, but I can say it’s absolutely nothing mechanical!
How do you recommend people use your pieces?
My bowls, trays, servers and now my newest Petal Pours are all food safe and can be used for anything—for storing a special ring or bracelet, floating flower buds across a table (instead of big bouquets), ice cream, jam or a poof of whipped cream. Or, as one customer did, lined up a row on her fireplace mantel. Not everyone can afford to spend thousands of dollars on art glass or ceramics, yet each of us appreciates it.
The big idea is to live with and use affordable art at your table, or in your daily life.
We couldn’t agree more. See more of Anna’s work and her gorgeous studio here.