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Interview with Chanda of Ezme Designs!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.

I went back to school for a second bachelor’s degree after the pain of working 6 years, Monday through Friday 8-5 in jobs that lacked creativity and were emotionally draining. In 2004, I got my BFA in Ceramics and started the “having five jobs and attempting to sculpt in the studio in my free time deal”. In 2006, I had slowly been shedding my jobs and learning more about functional ceramics (as opposed to sculpture) since it is an easier way to make a living. When my second to the last job laid me off in 2007, I figured it was a sign to dive into actually running my business. My first “real” show was May, 2007 at the Maker’s Faire San Francisco Bazaar! Thanks San Francisco Bazaar!!!

What are your favorite crafts and how did you first get involved with crafting?

Well since I am a ceramicist, I should say that is my favorite! I started arts and crafts as soon as I could crawl since my Mom is a trained painter. I took art classes in high school and in college, I studied Photography until I recognized that I was horribly allergic to photo chemicals. After college, during my stint as an 8-5 zombie, I always took adult school classes in metal working, woodworking, jewelry making, mosaicking, drawing, etc. When I started taking pottery classes I was hooked and took classes for several years before returning to school — the California College of Arts (and Crafts). At CCA(c), I was originally a Sculpture major but clay kept calling me back so I switched my major to Ceramics. During my last semester, I took a textiles class and if I had taken that class at the beginning of my return to college, I probably would have been a Textiles major. I adore textile work and wish I had time to do any of it! I do feel like my ceramic work is very much inspired by textiles though…

What do you like best, coming up with ideas or executing them?

Hands down — coming up with ideas… I wish I had a little factory of people making my stuff but would want to do it completely fair trade! I would love to make housewares in many more mediums and if I had other people making my work I could go crazy! :)

Are you super organized or messy?What does your workspace look like?

I like to be organized but it all ends up messy. It is impossible to be too clean with clay mud all over your hands and clothes! Safety is a big concern for me since clay dust is so toxic (contains silica which can cause lots of lung problems) so I do try to clean with a wet sponge. I do my glazing at home and my clay work at my studio so I have two spaces to keep clean and spend a lot of time boxing up stuff and moving it back and forth. My home studio is part of our office and is more sunny so I like to glaze there. My clay studio is in a live work space where my studio mate and her three other roomies live. We have a business called Campfire Gals Kiln Co. ( where we fire other people’s work who don’t have their own kilns. We have FOUR kilns and lots of equipment so we are really lucky. My only complaint is there are no windows so it is like working in a dusty cave.

Any exciting future plans or developments in the works for your business?

Keep on keeping on. In fact, I am only thinking about December 15th when all my holiday shows are finished and I can sleep for a week or two!!!

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