August Kroken began throwing her own pottery just two years ago. Now, with more than 500 pieces sold, she’s expanded her hobby into a successful one-woman enterprise.
Kroken, a software analyst who moved to Richmond Hill four years ago, decided to take up pottery when the youngest of her three daughters started school.
“I’d been a stay-at-home mom for so long, and I knew I’d need something to do with my time,” she said. “Pottery was just one of those things in life that I always wanted to try, so I went up to Midnight Star Pottery and made a piece with a friend.”
According to Kroken, the little red bowl she made that day changed her life.
“I didn’t stop talking about pottery for months after that. Then for Christmas, my husband bought me my own wheel, and the rest is history.”
Since that Christmas, she’s spent 20 hours a week in the makeshift studio in her backyard, creating bowls, mugs, spoon rests and honey pots. Each piece is thrown, fired and glazed by hand.
“It’s so cool to take a lump of clay and turn it into a usable object,” said the potter, whose art is self-taught — with a little help from YouTube. “I love creating something that I, or another person, will use everyday.”
Kroken said her work has improved greatly over the past two years, and she’s growing more confident in her abilities.
“At first, I was just so excited to make something. I’d be thrilled when I made a bowl that actually looked like a bowl. Now, I’m to the point where my resolution as a potter is to do great work, never mediocre work.”
Over the past two years, she’s created hundreds of pieces.
“I took to pottering really quickly,” she said. “After a while I’d made so much stuff that I didn’t know what to do with it. I mean, my mom can only own so many bowls.”
So she got the idea to start selling her work, and her business, Copper Tree Pottery, was born. She sold her first piece last April at a showing at the Midway Gallery in Midway.
“The fact that people want to buy something that I made is just … I can’t even describe it,” she said. “I called my husband after my first sale, and we had a little party on the phone. It’s such an amazing feeling.”
Kroken’s next show will be at the Tybee Lighthouse Historical Society Farmers Market in March.
Her pieces range from $5-$50 each and are available at the Richmond Hill Farmers Market during its open season (April-October). Unfinished pieces are also available for painting at Midnight Star Pottery in Richmond Hill.
For more information, email Kroken at email@example.com.