November 4, 2015
Salt and Pipper
It’s always a pleasure seeing this husband and wife creative duo at our San Francisco Fair. Their display is always top notch and both Pips and Josh are a delight to interact with. Our San Francisco Holiday Fair is coming up in just a couple of weeks and Salt and Pipper is one of our top picks for great giftables this season!
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting history behind?
Pips: When we were first married my Mother in law nicknamed me Pipper, “Salt and Pipper”was a good play on words that we felt represents us both in our marriage and in our work. Salt and pepper always go together; they complement each other.
When/Why did you start working in this particular craft/field?
Josh: I got interested in pottery in high school, a few years after I graduated from college I was hired for my dream job: teaching high school ceramics. I have always liked the immediacy of clay and also the anticipation of firing. I love making beautiful pieces that people can use and enjoy every day.
Pips: I have always enjoyed art and being creative. As a child most of my “dream jobs” were creative in some form. When it came time for me to go off to University, art was the only thing I wanted to study. My parents were always very encouraging in this, which I am very thankful for. As it turns out studying art was incredibly tough on me. My confidence in my abilities and creativity suffered. Art still remained as something I wanted to do in my life, I just didn’t know how. After we were married I worked on finding my joy in art and being creative again. It has been a journey paralleled with moving countries a couple of times, that has brought me to a place of desiring simplicity and seeking it in my art. Over the last couple of years my art has moved from a whimsical illustrative nature to colourful abstract paintings. My art is stripped down to some of its simplest elements-the colours and how they interact with each other on the wood panels. I have worked on wood panels for the last 10 years, I love incorporating the wood grain into some of my pieces, and love working on it as a surface in general. I am really enjoying this place of abstract in my art and am excited to see where it takes me next.
What do you think sets your designs apart from others?
One unique aspect of being married and working side by side is that we encourage and challenge each other in our work. People have often commented on how our work complements each other. We did not set out with that intent – we just wanted to do some craft fairs together bringing our respective works. Our work is separate; we are not producing or selling things to go together. But every time we set up a show we are still surprised by how it functions as a whole body really well.
Have you sacrificed anything to create your business? If so, what was it, and do you have any regrets?
At this point we have not had to sacrifice anything, it has been a blessing to be able to do something we love. If we ever make the jump to doing this full time then we will come back and answer this question more fully.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Having our two kids, which seems a bit off topic but “Salt and Pipper” has become an extension of our marriage and lives, its an avenue that has allowed us to create and for our kids to be surrounded by and a part of creativity.
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Well we haven’t fully taken the leap. Josh loves teaching high school ceramics, sharing his enthusiasm and excitement for pottery. Even though we aren’t doing this full time, it has allowed Pips to work and stay home to raise our kids. Some day it is our dream to take the leap, but until then this is a great avenue.
What are some inspirations for your work?
Josh: Potters that inspire me are Shoji Hamada and Matt Long.
Pips: Colours and patterns. Creative friends and family.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
We are still figuring this out, but something that has served us well is “Have Fun”, that’s why we do this right?