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Check Out Ellen Evans’ Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellen Evans, owner and artistic director of Terrafirma Ceramics, a New York City ceramics studio producing handmade functional American Art Pottery.

Hi Ellen, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I started out being an archeologist in college, but once I had to learn ancient Greek my path changed. My interest was always pottery, so my direction shifted from observing it to trying to make it myself.

After working in the art school mode for a time, I realized my goal was to create items that were beautiful, but also functional for everyday use. I opened my own company in 1980 to do just that.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think anyone who owns their own business can tell you there are always bumps in the road.

After introducing a small collection in 1980, Terrafirma was an instant success, which was incredible, except we didn’t have the production capability to meet demand.

As a result, we regrouped, added more staff, and streamlined production. The key to our success over the last 42 years has been to refresh our collection every season and make sure that we can accommodate the needs of our retailers.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
What I’m most proud of is that we’ve taken studio pottery (handmade) and introduced it to a broader audience.

What makes us unique is that we use a special process involving painting through fabrics to create texture, pattern, and color on each piece. This means every piece is painted by hand, and we provide a range of colors and patterns that customers can choose from.

We’ve received a warm welcome from Nashville. Two of our premier retailers are located here, Epergne and Corzine.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Always stick to your vision, and don’t be influenced by every passing trend.

Also, you can’t build a business around a small group of items, you need to put together a collection that retailers can present to their customers.

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Image Credits
Terrafirma Ceramics

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