In celebration of the new One of a Kind (OOAK) Online shop, I’ve decided to do a few One of a Kind Show fellow artisan features. Here is the first.
Why Cybèle? In short, because I love her work. We met at a show we both did last October, then we were next to each other at a show just after that. We did a little trading (hats for pottery – I love it!) and now I have several of her pieces. Soon she will be working on a custom piece for me. I’ll post it when it’s done!
Artisan Name: Cybèle Stein
Products: My focus is on creating multifunctional, hand-built, ceramic art. South Asian and Middle Eastern colours, textures, forms and designs, inspire my work. I use a variety of textures, and stamps on each piece I create, as well as a variety of colourful glazes to finish each piece I create. As such, each piece I create is highly textured, dramatically vibrant, and unique in its form and detail.
Price Range: $10 – $150 for single pieces
I’ve also started making “Made to Order” packages for dinner and serving ware, sets of 3 to 6 items – the price range for these are $35 to $300.
How did this all begin?
I started working with clay in 2010, while recovering from a severe ankle and knee injury. I soon discovered that working with clay was not only a deeply satisfying, creative outlet during my convalescence, but that I also had an innate talent for working within this medium.
Now – four years later – I am working full time as a ceramic artist, with my production studio and kiln. I work on each one of my pieces individually, which not only ensures the uniqueness of each piece I create but also provides me with deep sense of satisfaction in that I am following my passion as an artist.
One of the biggest challenges I find as artist is that of effectively marketing my work. I love doing shows – have had many successful events since I started my business, but this is can be a very exhausting and sometimes expensive way of getting the word out. I would love to be in a position where I can effectively rely on custom and/or larger wholesale orders so that I can focus on production (which is what I love most about being an artist). But until that happens, the only way of selling my work is primarily through shows.
This is why when I heard about the OOAK Online Shop and was invited to join, I was thrilled, as I view it as a potentially lucrative, and relatively simple method of marketing myself – and my work.
There are several factors that inspire me to make what I make. I think that one of the main reasons why I lean towards using a lot of colour and texture in my work, is because it is different from much of what’s available in functional ceramics these days. I see a lot of lovely work being done with textures, or colours but not necessarily in combination. So, I decided that I would combine both to see what I could come up with. The results were great, and I got a lot of very positive feedback about my style. I think everything that follows in only an improvement on the initial inspiration.
I’m also very much inspired by the South-Asian, Japanese and Middle Eastern style and colour palette, and a great deal of my work reflects this inspiration.
What advice do you have for a first-time One of a Kind (OOAK) Show vendor?
The best advice I could give is to a OOAK first-timer is to keep your expectations realistic. Don’t try to benchmark your success against people who have been vending at the show for several years – even if they are in the same category as you. One of the great things about OOAK is that the more you participate the more of a following you will gain – and it’s really about the repeat customers not the one time customers when one is exhibiting at this show.
Do you have a favourite OOAK show (or OOAK online) moment/memory to share?
I actually have two favourite memories….both from the Spring OOAK show.
First one – For part of my booth display I was using a lovely Arts and Crafts style, stained glass lamp from my living room to add extra ambient light to my table display. I used it in the back corner of my booth –surrounded by colourful ceramics. I had a customer come in to ask me how much I was selling the lamp for, I responded that the lamp was actually part of my display and not for sale (though part of me wanted to say $500 even). The customer then asked me “well what do you sell?” – totally oblivious the fact I was selling ceramics!
Memory two – feeling energized and inspired by all the great artists and crafts people at the show (O:
(All above photos from the Π (Pi) Ceramic Designs photo gallery.)