As an artist, it is an extraordinary privilege to create work that resonates with so many of you. Transitioning from hobby to business has been, and still is, quite the journey, even a few years later … ; learning something new everyday and making more mistakes than anyone could ever imagine – but what lessons learned! High-fire ceramics is a medium unlike any other and in such, creates its own set of challenges and issues way too long to include here. Don’t be fooled by an Instagram post, the reality behind that image, the amount of time, soul, loss, sweat and tears behind the work is quite intense! I am exited by the passion the work inspires and would love to please everyone. However, we are not a 3-D Printing facility. There is a long and costly journey that happens between an idea and its physical incarnation! There are hundreds of sizes, shapes, and objects I would like to create but at the end of the day we are not serving anyone in the long term by having so many variations while still discovering our own processes. Except for a few classes at a local studio, I’ve had to learn from failures, again and again and again, and seems like I’ve been learning backwards, but that has been my journey. It is what it is. Doing everything “wrong”, but it has been right for me - so far.
That was then, this is now! Time changes, realities and financial obligations change! We want Humble Ceramics to be around for a long time. We want to be able to offer a line that is timeless, classic, and which is as relevant and elegant today as it will be in 100 years. A line that can fit as well in a finca on the island of Ibiza, as it would in a Kyoto Temple, a New York penthouse, a rustic shack, a farmhouse, a minimalist loft, the desert of Mongolia, and everything in between! In order to do that, we have to change everything about the way we make the work, change the studio flow, our process, our inventory, etc … and in such, we have decided to reduce the line to the best of ‘the best sellers’. Many of those changes will probably take a good year or two to implement as that too is a slow process and has a learning curve! But what you see on the website under “products” is what we are currently offering. We can always add more later, though right now, we have to focus on the essentials and the core of our line. A few select stores will be carrying our one of a kind pieces until we run out ... and we still have to glaze all our discontinued bisque inventory ... hence the studio clearances ... which will happen until all is gone.
As of today, we will only be offering Snow White on Greystone. A few selected stores will be carrying the Snow White on Sandstone, but those will be few. We are also discontinuing the Brownstone and we will no longer do custom work, experimental glazes, in-between sizes, alternate colors or the likes until we are fully efficient and profitable. We need to focus, simplify, restructure and use our resources more intelligently. By doing so, it will make our studio flow more effectively, our inventory more precise, your wait time not as long, it will help us reduce loss (of actual pieces), have less waste (of raw materials), less packaging, less storage issues and less headaches trying to make it all work! Simplifying is not only good for every one of our elves and our work environment, but is also more eco-friendly (again, too long to describe all the reasons why here). Every action creates a butterfly effect, and we want that effect to be positive and upwards. We understand that waiting 3 months for a few pieces is not ideal … but you have made us into an unexpected brand, with very VERY high expectations and we’ve been trying to keep up, but now, we must adapt to our current reality in a “swim or sink” moment.
As an accidental entrepreneur, I have put everything (time, money, energy and soul) into this as I am extremely proud and believe wholeheartedly in Humble Ceramics, its direction and its potential. But the pressure of wearing so many hats is becoming too much to bear and I will not last by keeping the way we have been going. This is also an attempt to reclaim time for myself, and stop isolating due to extreme fatigue. The exhaustion is hard to live with on a daily basis. Working 16+ hours a day, 6 to 7 days a week for the last 5+ years is not the answer, for my body or my spirit. Even if I had the strength, it's just not healthy and does not set a good example. There is so much more I want to accomplish and having a heart attack or falling into a deep isolating depression does not serve me, the business, the people who work with me, my friends, family, customers, my community or society in a positive and healing manner. “The candle which is light to others consumes itself” – Nomad proverb This change will also serve my own sanity. Though I am proud of what has been accomplished so far, and have to pinch myself on a daily basis, I feel there has to be a better way, especially if this “company” is here to stay for the long run … or at least that is one of its goals.
We thank you for understanding and respecting our process (with all its flaws and imperfections) … we are a metaphor for our own work and our own selves … we are a work in progress.