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Ariela Nomi Kuh



Tell us about your background & how you got into making handmade ceramics?

I studied painting and art history in college. After graduating, I gained access to a ceramics studio through a teaching gig. I was immediately enamored with clay-- both the tactility of throwing and the result-- it seemed like pure magic to make a cup that I could drink from. Aside from taking a few classes at a community clay studio, learned through trial and error.



You’re currently based in Camden, Maine, where were you based before and what drew you to this area?

When I started working with clay, I was living in Philadelphia. A friend who grew up in Camden moved back here and I started visiting him and his family and fell in love with the ocean, the lake, the mountains, the woods, the people, the sense of community. It took me a few years to extract myself from the city life, but I eventually made it up here full time.



Walk us through a typical day at your studio?

I usually start the day catching up with correspondence and admin work at home. At the beginning of the week, I work on the wheel, mid-week I trim and attach handles, and towards the end of the week, glaze and fire. The trajectory can vary based on the size of the pieces, the complexity, the weather, which affects the drying time. I love that there are so many different components to the process, but working with wet clay remains my favorite part.


Where do you pull you inspiration from?

I pull my inspiration from ancient pots that I study in books and museums, from nature, from everyday life.



At what point did you decide to pursue ceramics as a business?

Its's hard to pinpoint because it was more of a gradual transition than a hard juncture. People started inquiring about ordering pots before I was even set up in a proper studio for production. For a few years, I split my time between selling ceramics and teaching. When I finally quit my day job, it was hugely liberated to be able to put all of my energy and attention into one thing, and a thing that I love.



Aside from clay, are there any other mediums you work with?

At the moment, I don't have time for anything else!



When you’re not spinning clay at the studio, how would you describe your day-to-day personal style?

I like elevated basics with a fun accessories -- a jacket with a great cut, an elegant bag, jazzy shoes, etc. Even when I am not at the studio, I tend toward activities that wear on clothes and living in Maine, you never know when you might end up eating dinner in an old barn or scrambling over rocks at the beach, so I avoid clothes that feel precious or would restrict my movement. 

Any favorite places you’ve recently traveled to?

Greece!

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