"I use ceramics to connect myself and others to the earth through the tactile and intimate experience of holding a coffee mug close, or serving a meal for your loved ones."
Presenting our Kindred Artists of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!
This week we are featuring Sierra Estes of Estes Ceramics. Sierra is the creator of the most beloved mountain mugs. She credits a desire for connection in her work and we, as you may know, thrive on connection - with our community, with nature, with ourselves, you name it. Sierra has won our hearts and we bet she's gonna win yours too. Read all about her below!
Who are you?
I am Sierra Estes, the set of hands behind Estes Ceramics. My work uniform includes clay splatters and plenty of animal hair, and that makes me happy.
What do you do?
I am a potter. I make ceramics for everyday life, pottery that fits into the daily rituals we practice together, or on our own. I use ceramics to connect myself and others to the earth through the tactile and intimate experience of holding a coffee mug close, or serving a meal for your loved ones.
Who/what inspires you?
The earth itself is my greatest inspiration. I believe that the earth is sacred, as a
whole, and in parts. The dirt, grass, and trees are all rich and invaluable parts of
our existence. I want to interact with the earth in as many ways as possible,
being able to bring it into my daily life through my work is something I don’t feel
worthy of but strive to honor in how I make ceramics.
What is your favorite moment in the process?
As the wheel slows down and the piece is almost ready, I use the side of my
fingers or the long edge of a wooden rib to make a mark, maybe a subtle curve
or a slight dent. That moment, when I’m most tuned into the piece and my hands
and the clay have completed their ritual dance.
What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?
Don’t rush anything. Clay holds endless possibilities, but you will still have to play
by its rules. Take the time to really learn how clay works and lean into that in your
What is next?
I have just made the transition into full-time self employment in the summer of
2019, and that includes taking on more projects all at once. I am working on
finding the best balance, routine, and processes to successfully do all of these
things and still be a living, sleeping, eating human being. My next step in this
process is to bring on an intern!
Don't forget we are giving away one of these beautiful mugs on our Instagram and you can get them 20% off on our website right now!