We had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Redmond, the hands and brain behind Yucca Stone for Koskela's Clay Club. She takes us on a journey of discovery and inspiration, explaining how her search for meaning led her down an unexpected clay laden path.
When did you first discover your passion for pottery?
I first discovered by passion for pottery about eight years ago. I had just moved to San Diego, CA after finishing my degree and I stumbled upon an advert for the local pottery studio. At the time, my partner and I were going through a bit of a rough patch in our relationship, and I was really struggling with anxiety and low self-confidence. I had always wanted to try pottery, and before I knew it, I had purchased one of their four-week beginner wheel courses. The crazy part is that it took me nearly six months before I finally mustered up the courage to book into my first lesson. I was so worried that I wouldn’t be any good at it, or that I wouldn’t fit in. Little did I know that stepping into that studio would completely change my life.
I found myself at the studio two, three, four times a week. After work, on the weekends. You could pretty much find me there all the time. I was surrounded by a welcoming, friendly, encouraging and supportive community of creatives, and with time, I started to get the hang of it, and I also started to find my feet again.
You’ve mentioned how American national parks have been a big influence on your practice, have you noticed your style/influences evolve since moving to Australia?
In some ways yes, and in some ways no. I definitely still crave and am drawn to the more earthy colours, textures and tones of the American South-West and I feel like that’s where my roots will always lie since that’s where I first fell in love with this medium, but at the same time, I can’t help but be inspired by this country too.
We live in the Northern Rivers of NSW, and it’s absolutely breathtaking. We are down at the beach nearly every day, and I’ve definitely been inspired to add some beautiful grey’s and blue’s to my collection moving forward.
What’s the most rewarding part your practice?
My husband and I have recently opened the doors to Stone Studio, a community pottery studio and cafe here in Kingscliff, and I would have to say that the most rewarding part of my practice is being able to share my knowledge and my experience with others. I was going through a pretty rough time, and ceramics kept me grounded. It gave me purpose, confidence and community, and I want to be able to share that same experience with others.
What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of ceramics and having your own business?
I would have to say the most challenging aspect of having my own business is finding balance. For example, finding a balance between teaching and making, or finding a balance between production pottery and creative expression. There’s so much that goes into running a small business, and it’s so easy to get caught up in the admin and the emails. It’s also about finding a balance between running a small business, and still taking the time to visit with friends or go to the beach for a swim.