Humble Ceramics is WHOLESALE ONLY and does not sell online. Please contact one of our amazing retailers (scroll down and look on the RIGHT side of this blog for a full list) if you are interested in purchasing our work. Thank you!
!!! CHEFS !!!!
If we don't have what you need in our stock room, orders can take anywhere from a few weeks up to 2 or 3 months
to fulfill
(depending on the size of the order, whether we have to make it from scratch or just glaze our bisque).

Our process takes time!
PLEASE PLAN AHEAD!!!



Humble Ceramics on Instagram




Currently, we do not sell online.

At this time, Humble Ceramics is available to retailers, designers, hospitality and media only.

For new wholesale inquiries, please contact us at info@humbleceramics.com
or go to http://www.humbleceramicswholesale.com/

All new store inquiries will be put on a waiting list


Production time is anywhere between 8 to 12 weeks
(possibly more) depending on the size of the order
or if we have to make your items from scratch,
unless you pick from shapes we keep in stock
at the time of the inquiry (bisque only) ...
and all we need to do is glaze to your color preference.
This timing does not include shipping.

Thank you for your patience and understanding ...
and watch Humble Ceramics grow - one piece at a time.

Thank you for being part of this artist' s growing "L.A. story".

To see Delphine's petites sculptures, please go to
http://www.delphinelippens.com/



Delphine





Dec 21, 2018

HC @ SIMONE Arts District



So so proud of Jessica Largey for her journey, philosophy, vision and the incredible success of SIMONE restaurant! We're honored to have a few plates in that mix as well. SIMONE is an instant classic!

"The long-awaited restaurant from James Beard Award-winning chef Jessica Largey is now open in Los Angeles’ Arts District. The multifaceted space features a dining room serving relaxed, produce-driven California fare, with a classic, elevated wine list by Beverage Director Jordan Egan (NoMad), and craft cocktails from Bar Director Iain McPherson (Edinburgh’s Panda and Sons).

Alongside Chef de Cuisine Jason Beberman, Chef Largey will offer a special tasting menu at the six-seat chef’s counter a few evenings each week, to launch after opening. SIMONE is a collaboration between Chef Largey, Managing Partner Bruno Bagbeni, and film director Joe Russo."

Repost fom Simone's website

See the above article about her path to her experience here:
https://robbreport.com/food-drink/dining/simone-los-angeles-opens-jessica-largey-2818463/

449 S Hewitt St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(424) 433-3000
https://simoneartsdistrict.com/ 



 

Dec 15, 2018

HC in HER Magazine Issue 07




A big thank you to James Oliver, founder and editorial director of The New Order & Her Magazines, for including us in the awesome issue of HER (07 Autumn/Winter) featuring respected peers, friends and the iconic Billie Eilish. Pictures by Yoshihiro Makino

~ ~ ~

Humble Ceramics - A Conversation with Delphine Lippens

What was the catalyst for you becoming a ceramic artist? What is it about ceramics that captured your attention in the first place and make you think you want to make a living out of it?

I met someone at a dinner party with whom I clicked. She mentioned she was going to take a pottery class and asked if I could join her - it was an opportunity to develop a friendship w/ someone I liked and respected (we became very good friends) and figured 6 weeks was not the end of the world so “why not?”. This was such a contrary action for me: I never had any interest in ceramics, I am not a social person, so it was more a way to try something new and get out of my routine, while having fun learning a new skill.

At the time, in my life, I was floating a little. Working in the healing arts and not quite feeling this was my path for the long haul, I was taking my time to live, explore … figure what could come next. I’d also just let go of my radio show, after 8 years, (I used to DJ) and was looking for something creative, something that would inspire me again after the passing of my mom. Pottery grounded me. Instead of working with energy or sound, I was molding dirt in 3 dimension, and that was a completely new experience. I felt humbled by the experience - humble in front of the clay and the process of centering it. This humble material became a powerful spiritual teacher because if you don’t ground & center yourself first, you will not be able to center the clay. Humble Ceramics (both the name and the work) came out of that journey - it reflected how I felt when working in this medium. It evolved out of my limitations as a potter … But am I a potter? I don’t feel connected to that word “potter”, maybe, exploratory or temporary potter or tourist in the field? …  (even though I probably was a potter in a past life because something just clicked and felt so profoundly familiar). It feels so much larger than that though, but I feel more connected to the experience rather than the word/label. And my role has shifted so dramatically running Humble Ceramics that I feel more like a CEO than an artisan.


To circle back on your question … I was hooked by the timing of it and the unfolding of all the various steps: I was not just playing with dirt, I was also playing with time, the five elements, the physical and the invisible … the polarity all made sense to to me and for once, both Geminis were happy!

To be honest, this was never meant to be a business. But as demand grew and grew, I’ve had to adapt - with every stage of the work or process (of the piece and of the business), and I take it day by day, curious where it will take me. I’ve had to learn so many things that have nothing to do with pottery … and that’s fine too. I’m acquiring new experiences and skills on a daily basis (isn’t that why we’re alive?) … I’m just riding that wave and we’ll see where it takes me. Now, I just show up and trust that the orders are coming in and do the next designated action - one at a time, and pick what is most pressing on the list … that’s all I can do.


How would you explain your style of work as well as your philosophy behind your work?

I made everything wrong, but it was right for me.

I like what I like, and I will hear/feel a big internal YES or NO or nothing … anytime I hear YES, I know it’s the right fit for me and I pay attention to that. My hands and tools also guided my work. I made work within my own limitations and that was good enough. I made work for myself and therefore could throw out the window all the old school pottery standards & conventions. I had to do it my way (cue Claude Francois or Frank Sinatra here) … I didn’t choose pottery, pottery chose me! They say that when a person passes, if you are touching them during their transition to the other side, you will absorb something of them. Maybe, I absorbed my mother’s love of ceramics … I’m just realizing this now as I write this! wow!

Looking at my work then and now, I saw beauty in the flaws. I found charm and tenderness in the little imperfections that you would never see in a piece sold in a store unless it was a true “antique”. And I wanted to share that w/ the world instead of discarding something that someone else might fall in love with, why rob them of that opportunity?

The work is actually a metaphor for who I am; balancing two opposing personalities into one, while maintaining a certain balance. The square and the circle … how could I make them work, in one shape, with harmony? Wheel thrown (round) with well defined flat edges (square) and the work just evolved out of that.  Strangely enough, the circle and the square keep showing up again and again. From the logo, to sculptures in progress, paintings, art, etc … it has been a subconscious theme for most of my life, but it made itself clear through ceramics which almost acted as a mirror! The polarity of male/female, positive/negative, square/round, black/white, solid/void, … it all made sense on so many levels.

The unexpected result of my style turned out to be simple, modern, minimal and rustic all at the same time. Not defined by one era, rather, timeless, practical and versatile. It fits in many different settings and styles that resonated with me and could fit in lifestyles   and traditions of countries such as Spain, Japan, Morocco, Mali, Peru, Nepal … My work is not this OR that, but this AND that. The neutrality of it makes it fit anywhere.

I also craved objects that were heavy so that I could feel grounded and present when handling them. The work absorbed a certain channeled energy and fellow alternative health practitioners and energy workers resonated so strongly with the vibration of the work that it made sense to continue in that path. Make work that is both beautiful and practical, yet grounding and that elevates the frequency of its surroundings at the same time. Healing can take many forms, and making a beautiful object that grounds people and makes them happy, aware and present is another form of healing; just a very unexpected one. And for those who are not sensitive to that, the pieces stand by themselves as beautiful objects, and that’s ok too.


Can you discuss your approach to creating and how you go about making something unique and different?

There was never a search to be ‘unique’ or ‘different’, but there was a searching for pieces that were “me”. Pieces that were familiar somehow. I just made work that resonated with my lifestyle and all it encompasses. Originally, I was looking for a quiet aesthetic, pieces that reminded me of ancient pottery and that could also fit in a modern setting at the same time. I never liked what I saw around me, not inspired in the least … I had no clue who Hasami Porcelain or Heath Ceramics were, or other famous potters I admire today now that I’m aware of them … I was just doing my thing, based on my own limited capacities and what felt natural in my hands. I wanted to get to know the clay and the glaze - just like people - one on one. No layers, no patterns, no froufrou, just a simple, well defined shapes that would never go out of style (5, 10, 50, 100  years from now). And nothing “cute”. Cute is just not my style! I have a very strong aesthetic, and there are very few things I like … If you analyze the work, you will understand who I am. My work cannot take attention away from nature - it should blend in - as if it’s a part of it … then redirect the attention back to it. My work is to be experienced just as much as it  is being seen.


Can you talk about LA, what you like and dislike about the city and how the city has an influence on you and your work?

I love LA and no words will ever do justice to those sentiments, but here is a try … I love the diversity! The freedom, space, light, open sky, proximity to nature, access to great produce, great foods from all over the world. I love the open-mindedness, the fact that so many great ideas are born and tried here and that people are not afraid to pursue their dreams and their real identities! I love the variety of social classes, cultures, people, belief systems, creativity and boundless opportunities. Foodies, movies, music, art, fashion, spirituality, entrepreneurship, … all is possible here. And of course, the weather. But it is a city that needs to be discovered, little by little. At first glance, it is not a pretty city, but then you discover all of it’s charms, one by one, if it lets you in. This city is not for everyone, it has a strong personality, and many facets. It can be loud and shy at the same time. There are so many worlds here! Some places make you feel like you’re in Greece or Ibiza, other places in the city can fool you into thinking you are in Cornwall, Brussels, Japan, Korea, Mexico or the middle of America …, I love that! To truly understand LA, I recommend Jonathan Gold’s documentary City of Gold which is a love letter to Los Angeles and one of the best understanding of a facet few people (who do not live here) talk about.


Where do you get inspiration from on a regular basis?

From the now and past lives. My issue is not NOT having enough creativity or needing to look for inspiration outside of myself because it is everywhere, but how to harness it and not being frustrated by the lack of time and money needed to make them happen! And I’m not just talking ceramics. Ceramics is simply an entry into the worlds of hospitality, real estate and luxury which are also entries into worlds I am fascinated by such as green-architecture, eco-friendly technologies, alternative energies and ways to rethink agriculture, land conversions, climate change, school & non-school systems, elderly care, ethical farming, humanity, philanthropy and and and … it is all interconnected! Ceramics actually slows me down because my mind will go a million miles per hour. I just want to move forward - I see so many connections in a world that seems so fragmented, so much hope in a world of despair and want to express that beyond ceramics. But for now, the intention behind the work is that as the pieces leave the studio, they start to create a matrix of healing for the planet … which needs more awareness, mindfulness, grounding and beauty. The rest will follow.


Can you please talk about your work space and what makes it special for you to create your work?

Well - the reality of what I would like and how it actually is is very different. There is nothing romantic about our work space, it is cluttered, dusty, messy, loud, in a part of town that is polluted, noisy, and tight. We do with what we have, where we are and the realities of running a business, with no investors or banks behind us. This is not a hobby studio, we are working 6 days a week to fill orders and we cannot seem to keep up. Ideally, I would like to be in a QUIET Leeds certified building w/ an efficient production line, great recycling capabilities, great natural light, green energy, solar, rainwater harvesting, green walls that filter the air, smooth polished concrete floors that can be rinsed w/ water, a loading dock, plenty of parking, office spaces, storage spaces, dedicated rooms, great ventilation and an awesome kitchen and hangout space. Organic food, coffee and juices for everyone … taco and various food trucks would come by once a week (choices people!!!), and we would have a courtyard with lots of trees and shade for eating and taking breaks. If I could run my studio like a green tech company or an advertising company, I would! That’s the fantasy! The current reality is … it’s messy, disorganized and we need a lot more people to work for us.


What ambitions do you have going forward? What do you want to achieve in the future?

Streamline our process down to an artisanal science (we don’t want to loose the soul of the work but we want to be efficient and profitable) . Then exploring our capacity within those limitations. We want to get our hands on better faster equipment that will allow us to have a much faster turn-over without loosing the handmade aspect of the work. I would love for Humble Ceramics to become a green micro-manufacture/studio (there are so many ways to be, it just takes time and resources) and we’re working on it in our small ways, one day at a time. Eventually, opening a Brick & Mortar store … , and an online store to go with it. But we can’t move too fast before we are fully in control of our process, and we are still learning and developing at this time.

We also donate monthly to many organizations we believe in, and I would like that to expand. One cannot be in business without giving back in one way or another. Times have changed and it’s a moral obligation and privilege to be able to do so!


Finally, words to live by…

“Leap, and the net will appear”



Nov 20, 2018

HC Holiday Pop-Up at Farmshop Santa Monica




#MeetTheMaker - Holiday Pop-Up, this Saturday November 24, 2018 from 11-3, with Denise of Denise Young Textiles and Eileen O'Dea of The Wooden Palate. Come by, say hello, and shop for the holidays all at the same time. ;)

Farmshop @ The Brentwood Country Mart
225 26th St #25
Santa Monica, CA 90402
http://farmshopca.com/santa-monica/

Nov 10, 2018

HC now available in Mill Valley


We are so so proud to be available at the new Mill Valley design store Prevalent Projects, opened on November 10th, 2018, the brainchild of Floyd & Julia Albee. Their selections include minimalist, Scandinavian, Japanese, Modernist and California designs ... and they offer interior design, and set design services as well!

Prevalent Projects
61 Throckmorton Ave. 
Mill Valley, CA. 94941
415-888-3257



Sep 15, 2018

HC now available in Pasadena





Humble Ceramics is now available at Arbor Exchange in Pasadena.

Arbor Exchange is a design and build furniture studio based out of Los Angeles, California. It is led by designer/craftsman Josh Jackson, who co-founded the studio in the summer of 2010.

ARBOR EXCHANGE - Pasadena
1980 Lincoln Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

http://www.arborexchange.com/

HC now in Los Feliz @ Beljar



We are excited to be available in Los Feliz on Vermont by the iconic Dresden's. Belljar is curated by Sasha Darling.

BELLJAR - Los Feliz
1764 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Jul 21, 2018

Loss of a Golden Icon



July 21, 2018 was the loss of another icon of the food world and beyond. Our hearts go out to the Gold Family, loved ones, colleagues and ....

When I moved to this country in 1982, the LA weekly was one of the very first publications my mother ever picked up. Every week, she would - religiously - look forward to Mr Gold's weekly pick and recommendations. She ended up creating a file of places she wanted to try with me (single mom) and organized it by neighborhood. That blue manila legal size accordion folder was always in the car in case we were driving around the city and happened to be in one of those neighborhoods. And sometimes, she would just grab the Thomas Guide (the Google Map of its time) and we would go on the adventure of trying a new place in a new part of town. We went to places that did not speak English, or where we were the only white women ... and discovered incredible flavors, cultures, supermarkets and sides of the city that we'd be completely unaware of, or would not have had the guts to try on our own.  We barely spoke English ourselves and were discovering Los Angeles ... Jonathan Gold has been part of our lives for over 36 years and has had a huge influence on how we live, love, travel and eat in LA. You will be missed.

Jonathan leaves behind his wife Laurie Ochoa, their 23-year old daughter Isabel and 15-year old son Leon. A GoFundMe campaign has been organized by Robert Adele to raise funds while the family adjusts to the harsh realities of loosing a loved one in such a fast and unexpected way and what the financial impact that can have for the immediate present and future of the family.
https://www.gofundme.com/for-the-family-of-jonathan-gold






Jun 13, 2018

Change is the only constant!

They say "change is the only constant" and that one must keep moving forward, adapt and re-calibrate to survive ...well ... here goes:

​ Time flies and we are getting closer to our annual Wabi-Sabi (seconds) sale (TBA in August). After doing the numbers, and facing the harsh reality of running a ceramics business in Los Angeles (with all that it entails), if we want to survive and thrive as a company, we have to streamline even more, making it necessary for us to do another clearance-event soon (don't know when/where/how just yet). The most successful companies have less than 10 products ... is that where we are heading? But I want to offer 10,000!!!! My creating self is fighting this with all its strength! Yet this is no longer a hobby, the lives and well being of my employees is more important, making this business succeed is more important than my ego and the inner-child who wants to throw a tantrum. It is hard, very very hard, I am sad as I write this because a piece of me is grieving the attachment to each of the pieces ... handmade w/ love and care ... thinking of all the resources and time that we spent on them. Even if I know better, a little piece of me is experiencing this as a failure, and I have to admit feeling a bit of shame around this process ... talk about humbling! I know each piece will be loved, and at the end of the day, they were created with the intention of creating a matrix of healing for the planet, and by making these pieces more affordable, the work will make many lucky souls happy and that gives me the strength to continue. I know it will make space for the best sellers, give us more space in the studio, it will be easier for inventory and organization ... but why is it soooo hard to let go?! I am now at the service of the business and have to set aside my creativity for the greater good. Going from childhood into adulthood, morphing from artist to business woman, having to adapt, again ... Stay tuned for more info and dates regarding these events ... 

Running a business can be such a soap-opera .... cue the violins please ... 


Thanks for reading. ​


FYI - On July 1, 2018, We will be raising prices on a few items. ​ ​ ​ 

Delphine​


Jun 8, 2018

RIP Anthony Bourdain

It is with great sadness that we morn the loss of Anthony Bourdain. It took me by shock and haven't really had a chance to express my sadness and the impact he's had on my life.

Being in a dark dark place in my life after leaving Spago and moving to Paris to pursue a career in Haute Couture ... my mom recommended the book Kitchen Confidential ... which, to this day, is the only book I've ever read. Being impatient, bored easily, dyslexic, and getting my information in other ways, I've always rejected reading ... to this day, and yet, his book was the only one I could relate to and actually stuck to the end (and enjoyed tremendously). It was real, fun, brutally honest, raw, funny, insightful, tender ... and it reminded me of all the things I loved about working in a professional kitchen and working with Chefs. He'd make me laugh outloud!

When I came back to the states, my mom admitted to me she was dying of cancer (which she had secretly fought for the past 10 years without me knowing) ... so for the last year and a half of her life, since it was just the two of us, we watched TV - all day ... between HGTV and the Food Channel .... (I can't remember now which channel his shows were on, but we watched them!) And his shows were our favorites because they were not just about food, they were about so much more. We felt connected to someone real, imperfect, someone we could relate to and that brought us insight, curiosity and laughter because he never apologized for who he was. We all have a story about our connection to Anthony Bourdain, and this was mine. After my mom passed in 2003, I kept watching the shows as if she was still with me, and maybe she was watching from the other side.

Thanks A.B. ... may your next life bring you happiness, joy, love and tenderness!


May 20, 2018

Kitchen-speak ...


Cleaning out old paperwork and found this little gem of a memo we received when I worked the line at this iconic restaurant back in the day ... and after a few giggles, I just couldn't resist passing it along. If you want to sound like a ... someone who's worked in a kitchen for a long time, just reverse the phrases .... ha!

Apr 24, 2018

HC in VoyageLA




Check out this profile in VoyageLA. We were recommended by fellow LA artisans The Wooden Palate ... and here we are. For the questionnaire, and tons of pictures, please refer to their website http://voyagela.com/

Today we’d like to introduce you to Delphine.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A 6-week summer class evolved into a hobby and eventually into a business… I never had any interest in pottery, but look how that turned out!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
 
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Every day is a new opportunity to learn something new. Not having gone to school for ceramics, having zero technical, financial or business experience, I’ve had to learn as I go, by making mistakes and as the challenges present themselves, one day at a time! Humble Ceramics came out of my own limitations, and that still applies to this day. We are actually an extremely small team, in a chaotic ever changing space, but we make it happen, imperfectly, on a daily basis. We’ve had to adapt to constant changes and the reality of running a business in California. Had I known how challenging and expensive this was going to be, I never would have started! But the way we have grown has been so organic that in a way, I’m glad I was in the dark about the reality and hardship of running a ceramics business. The support and interest from our customers is a real emotional and energetic safety-net as well without which I would have quit long ago. Clay is one of my greatest teachers and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! I am grateful for this life every day!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Humble Ceramics – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
 
~ A r t i s a n   p o t t e r y   m a d e   w i t h   m i n d f u l n e s s   i n   S o u t h   L o s   A n g e l e s ~

We are an artisanal studio that makes tableware and objects for the home in small rotating batches. We are known for simple but well-defined shapes, merging minimal, rustic and modern all into one.
I am most proud of my elves… as I could not do this without them, and am grateful for their talent, dedication and the care they put into each piece. What I am learning about business is that it is about people first! I am also very proud of all the ways in which we are eco-friendly (and want to be better as well) and able to give back to the community in our own humble ways.
What sets us apart is the well recognized aesthetic and intention behind the work. Energy workers and healers are most sensitive to it… and that is important to me.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Reorganize, streamline, maximize the space, become more efficient, find better systems, etc. Every day, we work towards those goals. We have to have a solid process and the ability to follow through as we grow. It feels like we magically make it happen, but we have a lot of evolving to do, with very limited resources! The rest will unfold organically. One day at a time.



Thank you Sid and the VoyageLA staff!

Mar 31, 2018

AMBER INTERIORS opening April 6 in Pacific Palisades



Amber Interiors is growing with a second location opening on April 6, 2018 in Pacific Palisades! Congratulations on the expanding success!

(You can find our Greystone work at the Pacific Palisades location, Greystone and Sandstone at the original Calabassas location.)

Calabasas
23528 Calabasas Road
Calabasas CA 91302

Opening April 6th 2018
Pacific Palisades
859 N Swarthmore Ave
Pacific Palisades CA 90272


Mar 30, 2018

YARDBIRD Southern Table & Bar opens April 6, 2018






Welcome to the new kid in town, YARDBIRD Southern table & bar is opening April 6, 2018 at the newly re-imagined Beverly Center ... and we are proud to have made "a few" pieces for them ...

"Founder and award-winning restaurateur John Kunkel and the Chef Patrick Rebholz joined us live with a taste of Yardbird.  Yardbird is literally known for the Best Fried Chicken & Waffles, Deviled Eggs and biscuits!! And now they have landed in LA!! Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is set to open April 6th in the newly reimagined Beverly Center. Known as a house of worship to farm fresh ingredients, classic southern cooking, culture and hospitality, Yardbird Los Angeles will be a welcomed extension of the current locations in Miami, Las Vegas and Singapore. The best in class, casual restaurant concept known for offering a unique and authentic dining experience is built around the culture and traditions that are emblematic of the South. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar Los Angeles will be open seven days a week, serving lunch weekdays and dinner until 11:00 PM nightly. They will also be serving their foot stompin’, soul healin’ brunch on the weekends. For more information, please visit their website,  Twitter @YBSouthern Instagram @YBSouthern and Facebook#SouthernWays." 

- via KTLA5's appreance on March 30, 2018

You can see a little preview here (if the video above does not play):
http://ktla.com/2018/03/30/yardbird-southern-table-and-bar-opening-april-6-at-beverly-center/

Find out more about Yarbird here https://www.runchickenrun.com/location/los-angeles/

A visit by The Avantgartist's Nicole Fani



 

 

"Have you ever made a purchase and felt an instant connection with the artist/designer behind the piece? This was my instant reaction when I first laid my eyes on the stunning ceramic works of Delphine Lippens, creator and artist behind Humble Ceramics. Her work spoke to me with such a talent for creating grounded and elegant pieces that could withstand the test of time, I knew this was for me. I purchased my first couple of dinner plates and from there I was hooked! Growing up with a father who founded a company that manufactures cookware, dinnerware, and houseware my love for all things ceramics is genetic and runs deep through my blood. When I had the pleasure of meeting with Delphine and speaking to her about the beginnings of her company, and the moments that lead to where she is now, I was utterly inspired! She is one of the most insightful and true individuals I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. It was a beautiful conversation where I found myself connecting on an even deeper level about life and how the universe always works on a scale, a balancing act. I truly believe that if you are lucky enough to have one or more of her stunning works in your home collection that you are graced with beauty and a piece you can pass down for generations to come! Delphine was so kind giving us a look inside of her studio space. I hope you enjoy this peek into where she creates such beauty with spirituality and love. " - Excerpt by Nicole Fani

A few weeks back, we had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Nicole Fani of the fun and colorful blog The Avantgartist. It was a magical day spent playing with flowers and ceramics ... and at the end of the afternoon, we sat down to talk and got to know a little more about one another.  Today, you can see that conversation and the rest of the profile (and pictures) on her blog as she profiled her experience at the studio.


Here is the questionnaire, but check out her site for a bigger font and the beautiful & fun pictures!


1. What was the inspiration behind creating your company? What motivated you? 
I didn’t “create” a company … it created itself from the response to my work and trying to adapt to the demand.  Making more pieces, needing more space, needing the help of a few elves because I just can’t do it all … so the growth has been and still is completely organic.  As an artist, it is an incredible feeling to have strangers respond to your work in such a positive way.  To have your work appreciated enough that someone would spend money on it is a huge privilege and definitely feeds that creativity.

2. When did you found Humble Ceramics? How did you come up with the company name?
Aug. 25, 2010 was the first day of a 6-week summer class I took with a friend.  Then, I was looking to name a blog I created to show my dad overseas my latest adventure.  I was looking for how clay made me feel, for a name that would be simple but resonated with me.  So after playing around with a few combinations, “Humble Ceramics” just felt right! 

3. What was the first piece you made? What was the inspiration behind it? How long did it take from conception to finished product, and what were the steps?
When I first learned to throw, you had to make a cylinder … then you opened it into a bowl or closed it into a vase … everyone was making bowls but somehow, my fingers wanted to go the other direction and most of my pieces became vases! The process can take weeks between the trimming, drying, sanding, bisquing, glazing, firing, etc … I sold or gave most of my work away, there is a fine line between collecting and hoarding, they became clutter to me and when I found people who resonated and fell in love with the pieces, I just let them go.  I think they are still on the blog … they were my very very first posts … the blog was/is a fun way to document the evolution of my work and how my style evolved.  And to be honest, this class was only 6 weeks and I had zero intention to do anymore.  What’s that expression? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plan” ?

4. What is your design process? Does it change with every piece, or does it stay on the same path?
It is fairly simple in my head, but there is a big difference between imagining something, the physical reality and technical aspects of it, so I just stuck to what I could do.  My work evolved out of my own limitations (and impatience) as a potter.  Creating shapes that spoke to me within the limited techniques I had learned, but I could tell every piece was a potential prototype.  I was just not good at recreating them again and again consistently.

5. How do your friends and family inspire you and your creative process? 
My friends and family are extremely supportive and I am grateful for that everyday!  Everyone is an artist of some kind and many are way more talented than I’ll ever be!

6. What are the most purchased of all your pieces? 
It varies from season to season … every industry is drawn to different pieces so it about evens out.  But the Stillness Collection has certainly become a Humble Ceramics classic.  

Are they the simplest or hardest to produce?
Every piece has its own set of challenges … but the canisters are the most challenging because we have to fit a cork, and between the shrinkage, trimming, sanding and glazing all create such variations that the corks don’t always fit.


7. How do you choose your materials? 
I like simple materials to harmonize with the environment … hence the simplicity.  Stoneware, concrete, stone, cork, wood, leather, metal, glass, linen are all beautiful in their simplest forms … it’s not just about the clay, it’s how it interacts w/ the shape, color, size, other materials, and everything else around it.  

8. What is your favorite piece to make?
I love doing the Dakini’s (though that is my own personal work and not under the Humble Ceramics Brand). I call it a Godlaboration because when I drop the piece from a certain height, I accept the shape that is given as a gift from above – hence – a “God-laboration” …

9. What is the meaning behind your work? What is the symbolic message you aspire to convey through your ceramic art pieces? 
That simplicity is actually extremely complex. That it’s not just about the aesthetic but about the “experiencing” of the object as well. The work is meant as a meditation – every time you look at it, you touch it, you use it … it is supposed to ground you, calm you, bring you into the present, bring you a little peace and make you happy!

10. What is your favorite use for your oversized bowls? 
Where to start? One bowl for fruits. One bowl for onions, garlic, shallots, avocados, tomatoes … Once bowl for family style dinners, especially great for larger dinner parties.  One bowl for bath essentials (put a few stones at the bottom and keep your loofa, sponge, scrubbies, brushes and whatever you like to have by your bath tub).  Some people use them for rolled hand towels.  In the living room you can put games or beautiful objects in them.  In a closet, keep your socks, or whatever you want in there … In an entrance, you can use them as a throw –it-all. Or just use it as a beautiful object.  The location of the bowl will let you know what the ideal use for it is!  It’s not just for the kitchen!  Put one outside with your favorite rocks, use one as a planter, … think outside the box!

11. How do you set a price on your items?
Based on the challenges of making that particular piece and the loss behind it.

12. How do you feel when you sell one of your pieces?
Surprised, grateful, excited to know it will be loved!

13. Where did you grow up? How did you come to live in L.A.? 
I grew up partially in Europe, then moved to Los Angeles for a few years to experience a new culture, learn English … and never left!  I tried living in other countries, but Los Angeles has always felt like home!

14. How are you planning on growing and expanding your business? Any new pieces in the works?
Yes – always more pieces in the back of my head! Though right now, we are focusing on streamlining and refining our processes.

15. Do you feel a social presence is necessary on multiple platforms to be successful in business today? What are your platforms/handles currently?
Currently I only use Instagram, my blog (which needs updating) … and my website (work in progress) …
I think having a social presence is one huge part but not all, word of mouth is another, brand loyalty is another, but you have some incredible artists and designers that don’t use social media, and they are highly successful.  I think it’s a destiny/path more than a formula.  Social media certainly helps stay in touch and communicate with your tribe.  It depends on what your intentions are … 

16. What is your mission statement?
“The intention behind the work is to embrace imperfections, ground, center and be present. It is also about raising the frequency of one's self and environment, thus creating a matrix of healing for the planet. Healing through beauty ...”
I guess it’s also about forgiveness, mindfulness and a metaphor for who we are as ghosts in a shell … finding beauty in simplicity, flaws and imperfections.  Doing with what we have.  Finding beauty in the unexpected …

17. Do you have other artistic ventures you are currently working on, or have worked on in the past?
Yes, yes and yes … too many to mention here.  But right now, the focus is on Humble Ceramics, and I’m trying to be happy with that otherwise I can get fragmented because I want to do it all!  There is a big distance between an idea and the physical realization of it.

18. Do you love what you do? Does the work serve your soul? 
I love what I do!  And I do what I love.  It does not mean however that it’s easy, or that I am not stressed, afraid, or constantly questioning everything … but yes, any time I can express myself by doing something beautiful – it serves my soul.

19. What would you say is avant-garde about Humble Ceramics?
That’s interesting; I don’t see us as avant-garde, so that’s a huge compliment!  We’re just more simple, more modern, more minimal, yet warm and rustic at the same time if that makes any sense. We position ourselves in between styles, not just one.  We are not “this OR that”, we are “this AND that” … we are non-linear … our work can be placed anywhere on the space-time continuum, and somehow it would be appropriate and fit in the context.


Thank you Nicole! It was a pleasure meeting and getting to know you!

Photography by Grace Yoon   http://www.greyandelle.com/

See all the awesome pictures at http://www.theavantgartist.com/

http://www.theavantgartist.com/the-nittygritty/2018/1/29/the-nitty-gritty-on-humble-ceramics










Mar 25, 2018

General Store is growing!


General Store is spreading its wings! As if orchestrated, both California locations have expanded their footprint and have opened within days of each other! San Francisco has a second location, and the Venice location just doubled in size by taking over the space next door which means twice the goodies to choose from! Venice will have more vintage clothes and the second northern California location will focus on the Home/Lifestyle aspect ...
Come by and check them out!

  • Los Angeles
  • 1801 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291
  • San Francisco - ORIGINAL
  • 4035 Judah St. San Francisco, CA 94122
  • San Francisco - NEW
  • 3928 Irving Street. San Francisco, CA 94122
https://shop-generalstore.com/

Mar 21, 2018

Hello Seattle! We are now at STOCK and PANTRY!


313 E Pine Street, Seattle, WA 98122
Monday - by Appointment
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 7pm
Sunday Noon - 5pm
HOME • LIFE • STYLE

We are so so proud to be in the exquisite new Seattle store STOCK & PANTRY.  Can you spot us in the window? Thanks Sasha! Love love loooove your aesthetic!

Mar 12, 2018

Coffee, Cycling and Conversation at CAPTAIN + STOCKER




If you love cycling, coffee and connecting with other like-minded people ... Captain + Stocker is the place for you. We are delighted to have our tumblers used in this new Monterey hotspot. Petersen & Wendy Conway fell in love with this concept while travelling abroad and wanted to bring the experience back home.

Named for the positions on a tandem bicycle, owners Wendy and Peterson Conway's vision is to promote connection and conviviality in our tech-fragmented world, and to provide really great coffee served by nice, humble baristas! To that end they're recreating their warm Carmel Valley farmhouse kitchen at 398 Franklin St. and roasting some very special Australian-influenced coffee to be enjoyed at communal tables. They also serve baked goods made with seasonal ingredients fresh from their own farm and wheat from Peter's grandfather. - Via Edible's Instragram
You can read an awesome article on the Conways in Edible Magazine

398 E Franklin Street
Monterey, California 93940
Monday – Sat | 6:30 – 2 pm
https://www.captainandstoker.com/


Mar 9, 2018

Somni at SLS Beverly Hills


SOMNI is a unique dining concept from @chefjoseandres and @thinkfoodgroup Culinary Director @aithor_zabala | #somnirestaurant somni.tocktix.com

Lodged in the back of SLS Beverly Hills, Somni, a new high-end 10-seat restaurant, is now where SAAM used to be.   The dining experience will make you feel like you are seeing inside Chef Aithor Zabala's creative mind and that you are eating a piece of his art! On the first of the month, you can buy tickets for the following month ..  reservations on Tock. There are two seatings nightly, one at 6 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m., with three wine pairings ranging from $175 and up to $500 per person. The juice pairing costs $75 a person. We are proud to have a few of our pieces used for this unique concept. Congratulations Aithor and the whole team!

SOMNI @ SLS Hotel - Beverly Hills
465 S. La Cienega Blvd. 
Los Angeles, CA 90048 

Feb 28, 2018

Amanda Gilbert Meditation




Back in January, we had the pleasure of meeting Amanda Gilbert,  a Mindfulness and Meditation teacher who also teaches companies and corporations. As like-minded souls, we resonated and we were honored to have our ceramics included in her branding shoot - mindfulness can come in many forms and so it made sense ... above are some of the lovely pictures. You can learn more about AGM on her site* https://www.amandagilbertmeditation.com/

*"Meet Amanda Gilbert! Amanda is a modern day teacher, guide and facilitator in meditation and mindfulness. She has been a meditator for 14 years, and teaches publicly, privately and for corporations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Her passion for sharing meditation comes from her own life experience where meditation not only healed her from a traumatic life event, but catapulted her into living a life filled with meaning, purpose, optimal health, joy and awakening."