Get to know Jocelyn Conrad of Jocie Pots. We did, and think you’ll agree – she’s one-of-a-kind just like her work!
She’s a sentimentalist, a lover of all things old that have history, and scars, and a story. She can’t go for a walk without bringing back treasures. Her tool box is a hodge-podge of handmade trappings passed down from other potters, crocheted patterns by relatives, and those treasures from long walks.
The Palace is her studio; a wooden sign is hung above the door as an homage to her Pepa who shared her love of making things to gift to others.
“It took me a long time to get to this point,” she says. “There were tears and joy and one serious conversation with the Lord that led me to this spot. . . I create things I want to have in my home and my hope is that you love them so much that you want to have them too.”
The CLUTCH: Tell us about how you got started in this area.
Jocelyn Conrad: I was first exposed to clay at the Museum of Art when they offered intro to throwing classes. It was an instant love affair, but like any relationship it had its share of challenges. If you’ve ever dabbled in clay, you know the first rule of throwing is to get the clay centered. After that, the clay pretty much obeys the pull of your hands. I say “pretty much” after dealing with it for 10 years. I stuck with it, and mastered my skills at Brevard College, a small liberal arts school tucked in the mountains.
TC: So cool. What else is part of your story?
JC: I have the typical story of a college graduate. I came back home, found a 9-5 that had nothing to do with my major, and lived rent free with my parents until I got married. In 2015, I made the leap to quit my day job and focus on pottery full time. After a lot of ups and downs and a baby (!) I have a home studio and my work in a few local stores and etsy online.
TC: Why ceramics?
JC: Ceramics is a timeless craft but it does come with it’s trends just like clothing (choker necklaces anyone?). Small batch ceramics is incredibly popular. I’ve learned that consumers will pay the price for handmade, even when Target is selling the same thing.
TC: Any trends you are noticing?
JC: The modern, sleek, minimalist style with clean lines and one tone colors are a lovely getaway from our chaotic life. Marbling clay, especially with white and blue hues, is a simple yet intriguing surface decoration. At the same time people are wanting to cut back from all the clutter they are wanting to bring a little bit of the outside in. Textures from natural material are pressed into the clay to mimic botanical themes and glazed in earthy colors. But really, for whatever style you have there is a ceramic artist with the same one.
TC: How do you continue to learn and grow?
JC: Process videos are highly popular and not just with ceramics. I lose track of time watching other people throw pots on a wheel but I can get caught up in watching videos of hand lettering! We love seeing the maker behind the pieces we have in our homes; drinking out of a handmade mug that wasn’t mass produced over seas but made in the backyard of the upstate. And that’s where you’ll find me most days, sweet tea with lemon in one hand and clay on the other.