Over the years, I've enjoyed working together with many different artists. The final product is always exciting, fresh, and very different from what I might have come up with on my own. So, this past summer, I began thinking about the possibility of arranging a new collaboration. A few names came to mind, but Samantha Dion Baker was at the top of my list.
Sam is an extremely talented illustrator who also lives in Brooklyn. We first met last year, when she stopped by my booth at a fair. We chatted for a while. She bought a couple of my pieces and signed my mailing list. Since then, I've been following Sam on Instagram, where she has a very active and gorgeous feed. Every day, I'm stunned by her beautiful journal pages and hand-painted leaves.
And so, this summer, I reached out to Sam with the idea of a collaboration. I was very happy when she told me she was excited about the idea! Sam had never worked with ceramics, so it was a great opportunity to learn a lot from each other. We immediately arranged a time to meet up at my Industry City studio.
During our first two meetings, we tried a number of different techniques, glazes, and forms as test pieces. I loaded everything into the kiln and we waited. Though neither of us were completely satisfied with this firing, the results were inspiring and pointed us in a strong direction.
The next time we met at my studio, Alex Baretto, a photographer with Industry City, came by to take some shots of us working (see the two photos below - you can see more of Alex's incredible photos at Industry City's Instagram feed!). As an artist, it is so beneficial to work in a creative environment like Industry City. You just have to walk through any of its halls to see all kinds of artistic disciplines side by side!
The direction Sam and I chose for our collaboration was to glaze my ceramics in the style of her painted leaves. We designed several different shapes of vases, bowls, and cups, and choose a palette of glazes.
The result is a limited collection of 15 unique porcelain pieces with the free-form drips and line work of Samantha's leaves. We are both so thrilled with the collection! It was an extraordinary experience for me, not only because I got to see how Sam works, but because I gained a great friend. We had such a blast making these pieces... we're already thinking about what our next collaboration will be! Stay tuned!