Artist: Shoshona Snow
Website: Shoshona Snow
Etsy: Shoshona Snow
Where are you located?
Kingston, New York
What do you create?
I create functional and non-functional work out of fine porcelain.
When and why did you decide to start your business?
Well, I’ve wanted to be a full time artist as far back as I can remember. I went to college to work in metals and then changed my major to ceramics. I make mostly non-functional sculpture which I show in galleries, and my functional ceramics sort of grew out of some technical frustrations I was having with my other work. I’ve always enjoyed working on the potter’s wheel, so I started making some cups and bowls and vases just for fun, as a stress reliever. The pots started piling up and decided to start selling them online. Before I knew it I could hardly keep up with the demand. I’ve been making work and teaching ceramics for about 10 years. I’ve actually had to give up most of my teaching jobs because I am so busy in the studio. I am a full time artist and I love it!
Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?
I grew up in a family of antique dealers and collectors and was exposed to all sorts of objects from the past. I am particularly drawn to the decorative arts of the early and mid-20th century. I enjoy clean lines and good design.
What influences your color selections?
I like bright colors. If you came over to my retro inspired house you’d see my entire color pallet at work. My bright orange and yellow kitchen, my bright green and blue studio, my red, black and white living room… I use black and white on the exterior of all my pieces so I want an interior color that is really going to POP.
Which of the tools you use is your favorite?
Is it a cop-out to say my hands?
What keeps you motivated?
I am a workaholic. Just ask my husband. My studio is at my house and that makes it difficult for me to slack off. I always feel guilty when I’m not working. It is so satisfying opening up the kiln full of new work. Plus, I love what I do. I enjoy going to work every morning and I know that makes me very lucky.
How do you get the word out about your work?
I actually haven’t had to do much self-promotion. I have a website and an etsy shop and people have been finding me. I’ve been featured in quite a few blogs as well. I always have business cards on hand to pass out and always ship a few extra with my orders.
What is your main goal for the next 6-12 months?
Keep working as usual. My work is now being carried by a few galleries and shops around the country and I’d like to keep going a bit more in that direction.
What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?
Don’t undersell yourself and keep organized! Make sure you are getting paid for your time. It’s the only way you are going to make a living. And take lots of good photos of you work. Especially if you are selling online, and you will have a record of the piece when it sells. Also keep records of how much the piece sold for. If you are making good work and selling very fast, maybe it’s time to increase your prices. Be sure to have a website and always have business cards on hand.
What’s the most important thing you’d like people to know/understand about your work? That a lot of time goes into creating each piece. This is something that was created completely by hand. I make the clay, make the glazes, make the piece, paint it, carve it, glaze it, and fire it. I want to make something that is completely functional and will be used and loved.
Who are some of your favorite indie designers/artists?
I have an affinity for jewelers because that’s where I started in college. These are a few of my favorites. Danielle Maveal, Simone Walsh, Ashley Akers, Caitlyn Davey, Jill Hawkins.
What city, that you’ve never been to, would you like to visit?
What's your definition of a perfect day?
Wake up. Take my Boston terrier, Dudley, out for a long walk. Eat bagels with my husband. Work in the studio for a few hours. Eat a light lunch and then take Dudley outside with me while I work in my gardens. Sit on the back porch with my husband and relax in the sun. BBQ some tofu and veggies and watch a good movie. Then a long bath with a good book. Ahhhhh….I feel so relaxed already.
Thank you Shoshona!