Summer Editorial

Studio Visit: Sue's Pottery Studio


There's no doubt I have a weakness for ceramics! Whether it's visiting a ceramic studio in New York or Copenhagen, it gives me great joy to pick up our ceramics from the ceramicists themselves as well as learn about the craft. I couldn't be more excited to discover the beautiful work of a group of local potters right here in my own backyard. With over 50 years of combined experience in ceramics, Sue Kang and a collective of amazing ceramicists, including Kelly Kwon and Thomas Akarawa, have been quietly doing what they love under the radar. They design and craft beautiful table ware and sculptural vessels in the California bay area.  They recently started selling them and so happy to introduce their pieces to the world! Nestled in the woods in San Jose, they welcomed me to their cozy ceramic studio which impressively houses both a gas and electric kiln. 

Sue balances teaching pottery while running her beautiful cafe in Saratoga, Sue's Cafe and Gallery. I witnessed a sense of joy, camaraderie and community among these makers, as they create beautiful objects and gather together to share a delicious prepared meal by one of the potters. One of them also brought a box of lemons shared with everyone and was so grateful for my fresh lemons that day.

Sue instructing her student.
dark clay use for the tea strainer/ potter's wheel

 I'm in awe and an admirer of the craft,as they explained the different clays, glazes, cone firings and equipment. A cup may be a vessel with a simple use. But beyond the function, it's the sum of materials, the tactile and kinesthetic aspects of the craft, combined with the intuitive creative design and time. Plus throw in the science and magic of the kiln and of course, the passion and hard work of the potter making each piece unique. As I drink out of my favorite tumbler, I'm reminded of the love and care that goes into each piece.

Kelly Kwon with her ceramic pieces
Thomas Arakawa / stoneware and wood-fired vessels

As we catch a glimpse of the process and the studio, it has always been our hope that you share this journey with us to get to know the craft and the people behind the designs that we carry. I have a sincere appreciation for the individuals and the process of each piece that we showcase. We're delighted to support and introduce the beautiful work of these charming, kind and talented group of local makers.

Shop our new ceramics!

Thank you so much Sue, Kelly and Thomas and all the potters at the studio for graciously welcoming me and teaching me about your craft. It's a pleasure and so inspiring to see your dedication and love of pottery through the years. So grateful to know all of you and learn about the process. Thank you!


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