Sunshine Ladies | Artisan Artifacts | Colorado Branding Photographer
For a while now, I’ve been wanting to meet with different creatives and document them doing what they do best. I’ve reached out to a number of artists, designers, and makers and am excited to start documenting women who inspire me with who they are and how they approach their craft. I’ve decided to call this project (what else?) Sunshine Ladies.
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting up with Ariana Richie, the insanely talented artist behind Artisan Artifacts, an AMAZING pottery business in Fort Collins, Colorado. I was privileged to not only watch Ariana at work, but even get a chance to get back on the wheel and throw my own pot (which I haven’t done in probably 15 years- it was so fun!). When Ariana isn’t throwing clay alongside her sweet little Schnauzer mix, Mesa, she freelances as a textile designer for big brands. What a life!
Keep reading to learn more about Ariana and her approach to her craft.
Who are you and what do you do?
I make functional pottery for the home and table. My designs are remedies for everyday needs and the result of an intimate collaboration between form and function. I am drawn to muted earth tones, natural clay bodies, and contemporary forms. Each and every piece is a labor of love and an extension of how I nurture and commune with others.
Why do you do what you do?
I love the working with my hands to create objects that are beautiful yet functional and integral to daily routines and rituals.
How do you work?
Each piece is made by hand using traditional throwing techniques. It is a continuum of a great pottery tradition and I feel honored to take part in the preservation of this traditional craft.
What is the best part and what is the worst part about what you do?
The best part about being a potter is throwing at the wheel. I just love the delicate balance between the technical mechanics of throwing and the dance-like langage of my hands as they perform the task. The worst part is about being a potter is the list of spectacular failures that will and do occur, no matter how many years you’ve been at it.
What superpower would you have and why?
The power to fly. It’s the only super power I’ve experienced in dreams and it feels amazing every time!
Name something you love and why you love it.
This may seem like a contradiction to the fact that I’m an artisan and make everything by hand but I love Hasami Porcelain. It’s incredibly affordable, functional, and beautifully mass-produced pottery. Who says you can’t love both--the mass produced and the handmade?
What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to make dinnerware for a restaurant. Hoping that will happen soon!
What song inspires you right now?
This may sound strange, but I rarely listen to music! I prefer the sounds of the natural world: birds, insects, the wind through trees, etc.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Question Everything.” It’s on a bumper sticker I see every once in awhile and it’s a very solid piece of advice! Questions not only fuel and drive our thinking and creativity, they awaken us to our purpose and keep us engaged in the world around us.