We have so much to say about Beth from Bowman Ceramics that quite honestly it has been difficult to put the words down. She was the first maker that was secured when embarking on this journey and her excitement was not only infectious but inspiring. Her work….equally inspiring. I mean have you seen her mugs?! Those beautiful mugs are what initially drew us to her as an artist.
But first, some backstory… Beth is the sister of one of our dearest friends and teammates who played volleyball with us at the University of Idaho. And while back then we did not know her well, her sister, Amanda, often bragged of her creativity. It was at Amanda’s house when we first laid eyes on her mugs and from that point on refused to drink from anything else if those beautiful mugs were near (yes, that includes wine, liquor and anything else liquid). Then, Christmas came and our dear friend got me (Haley) the best gift I have ever received (good thing my husband is likely not reading this)...and that is what kickstarted it all.
You see, Beth is not just a ceramist. She is a florist and works for the well known White Lilac in Orange County, California. Take a look at some of their work, it is like nothing we've ever seen. In fact, their work is truly breathtaking. For Beth, however, these masterpieces have an expiration. After one spectacular night flowers can begin to wilt and wither away. Their beauty will only be remembered by memory and photographs. Bowman Ceramics, however, can last a lifetime. She says, “My hands molded every piece into existence. Stoneware will never dissolve. When loved, it will stand the test of time and a piece of me will remain no matter what is to come of me.”
“I want there to be a silent presence of my creative energy. I get to leave this behind. Everything I have has a memory and I want everything I leave behind to have a memory too.”
Isn’t that just beautiful? We felt that these words truly highlight our mission and we could not have said it any better.
So what else inspires her...she says, “Nature and Repetition. When I am trying to create something it is nature that inspires me. But more specifically it is the repetition in nature. So when a million fall leaves on the ground or the repetition of hundreds of blooms that are all slightly different but yet still the same. I love how clean the repetition can be and how hundreds of singular things can become one thing".
Why Us? What did she love about our concept? Why did she take a risk on us and why was she willing to give so much of her energy to Native + nest? We could not have been more moved by her reasoning....
Beth is a busy gal. She recently relaunched her website, works full-time and is about to add another life to this world. So with all that on her plate we asked why she agreed to be a part of NN. She said, “I love that it is a collaboration. I love that you chose me because you are a fan and honestly your vision helped me adapt. That is why this project is so exciting. I could still be true to my esthetics and the repetition that inspires me. You let me take your vision but gave me the complete creativity to fulfill it my way". Beth lives in Long Beach and like us has always loved supporting and shopping locally. “Your concept is like bringing the best local shopping to one curated collection,” says Beth.
For us, it was really reassuring we shared the same views and passions about shopping small and supporting artisans because it meant that she truly understands what we are trying to do and we could not have asked for a better collaborative partner. She really gave us the confidence to go out and find our other partners.
We have some pretty amazing makers in this collection and we could not say that we have a favorite (so we won’t) but there is something extra special about this piece and the maker who molded them into existence.
For those of you who have purchased the collection I would encourage you to head on over to her site. You may even find some of those very special mugs that brought us to Beth.
Thanks for reading!
Mer + Haley