Today we’d like to introduce you to Alison Andersson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I always loved working with clay. The equipment required kept me from pursuing it. I went to grad school for painting, showed with the gallery c. nichols project and did various creative jobs in LA (photo styling, set decorating and art handling, to name a few). When I was pregnant, my process moved into less toxic materials like natural dyes, raw canvas and reworking old paintings. I think this opened the door to return to mediums I had put aside. I moved to Ojai and discovered that there are many pottery studios here and ways to access the needed equipment. After a refresher class or two, I set up a studio in my garage and have been working with clay ever since. I love the democratic nature of ceramics and the many ways available to get it to people- Instagram, markets, pop-ups, studio visits. The business has evolved naturally and quickly.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been really smooth- if you don’t count the years it took to find this niche. I’ve done every creative job imaginable, I have 3 degrees. I’ve started countless businesses over the years to have them stumble at some point. With ceramics, I just started making things and people wanted them. Studios and opportunities have appeared when needed. There have been many times I thought I would have to give up being an artist. I am grateful every day to be allowed to do what I love. So the road had been smooth but not.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with your work – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I make ceramic things for the home. My main product is hanging bell sculptures. I also make functional kitchen/homewares. My emphasis is staying true to the nature of clay- allowing drips to happen, looking for ways to make mistakes that are interesting. Ceramics is a continual process of letting go. You are dealing with natural elements- earth, water, fire, and at any time they will take charge. There is no controlling what will happen when you cook something at over 2000 degrees. I look at the work as functional art pieces. I stay as small as I can to make my work truly local and handmade.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Ojai is so close to LA it is both an extension and a foreign country. I loved living in LA for the culture, the airport, the beach. I love Ojai for the stars and the studio time without the distractions of city life. It’s almost an ideal place to raise our daughter. When we need more art, music, museums and city life, it is right down there.
The cost of living and the crush of people in LA is what finally drove us out. When I moved to LA, everyone had art studios downtown and there was this sense of space. An artist could find cheap rent near other artists. A surfer could find neglected waves. We lived at the beach and it was this quiet ghost town after dark.
Ojai feels like the best of both worlds. There are a ton of creative people up here and lots of space. It’s the best combination of country life with city culture. We feel lucky to be able to be here.
- Address: Ojai, CA
- Website: www.alisonandersson.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @alison_andersson
Portrait and logo courtesy of Tracy Bellomo