Maker Spotlight: Michelle Luu Pottery

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Happy Monday, folks! We are counting down the days till our LA Fair and can’t wait to hang with ya’ll in the sunshine! Today we’re thrilled to be featuring Michelle Luu Pottery. Don’t these pots just scream Summer?DSC_0014

Michelle Luu is a microbiologist turned potter, creating a variety of one-of-a-kind pieces for the home. Michelle’s hope is that these pieces become a valuable and integrated part of daily routines and rituals – from Sunday morning breakfasts to get togethers. Pottery is meant to feel good in your hands, and Michelle’s pottery not only feels good, it also brightens up your home!

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So how did a Microbiologist end up being a potter? Michelle had all this creative energy just waiting to be expressed, but she was too afraid to step out of her comfort zone.  She had always been drawn to the organic and therapeutic process of pottery, and eventually she worked up the courage to take a class at a local pottery studio. As soon as her hands touched clay for the very first time, Michelle was addicted.  Soon all of her free time was spent reading and watching videos about the process, and Michelle essentially taught herself how to make pottery.

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Eventually, friends and family wanted to buy Michelle’s work, encouraging her to start a business. It was at this time that Michelle reached a pivotal moment that almost all makers face at the beginning of their journey. Michelle’s initial hesitation is so relevant and common among makers, we felt it was necessary to share:

“That was the most difficult part for me…being vulnerable and putting my work out there for the world to see.  I felt like my work wasn’t good enough and that I didn’t have the qualifications to call myself an artist and a potter.  But I realized that if I’m authentic in my desire to make beautiful work then people will see the love and care that I put into each and every piece I make.”

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Michelle buys a variety of clay locally in Southern California. Experimentation in pottery is key, so Michelle works diligently with a myriad of materials: from organic black, beige, and brown stoneware to beautiful white porcelain.DSC_0003 DSC_0012DSC_0250 Michelle gets inspiration from so many different places.  She draws inspiration from photography and traveling, to friends and family.  She always has her sketchbook with her in case an idea suddenly comes into focus. Most of the time, though, Michelle loves leaning into the creative process, letting her hands freeform once they’re on the wheel.  
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Most of Michelle’s pieces are simple forms, giving her freedom to experiment with color, lines, and textures.  Michelle likes to make pottery that’s modern but also fun and playful.

The process itself is long–wedging the clay, throwing on a wheel, drying, trimming, bisque firing, sanding, glazing, and then high firing a piece.  So many mistakes can happen along the way but it has taught me to be patient, compassionate toward myself, and to let go of things that weren’t meant to be. DSC_0090 DSC_0418

We can’t wait to see Michelle Luu’s pottery in person at our LA Fair this weekend at Grand Park! You can find Michelle’s work online here:

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