Christine Silbaugh is bursting with creativity, so much so, that she keeps a notebook by her bed for ideas that come to her in her sleep. This is evidenced by the multitude of unique pieces she has available in her Etsy shop, Back Bay Pottery. You'll see everything from dinnerware to house numbers to handmade buttons, and they're all so beautifully crafted. Visit her Back Bay Pottery here.
What is your name?
Describe your products.
I make a wide variety of whimsical pottery from my tiny little bird beads and buttons to functional pieces for your home and kitchen.
How did you learn to create ceramics?
I was raised by artists and crafters and have been creating things my whole life. I have always loved the idea of ceramics but never really got my hands into it until about 4 years ago. My husband, who is in the construction industry, had built a couple of pottery studios in the area. One day a friend of his offered to give me pottery lessons. I jumped with excitement at the opportunity and started going every week. Discovering how diverse ceramics can be, ideas kept flooding my head & soon I had to do it every day. I started taking clay home, working away on small projects like buttons & beads. The wheel however wasn't as easy as I dreamed it would be. But I am a determined person & kept trying even though at first I found it difficult make anything. I purchased a used pottery wheel & practiced daily. Soon after, my wonderful husband built me my very own studio in the back of our beautiful beach house and my pottery business was born.
How and why did you open an Etsy store? Is your Etsy shop your full time job?
I started by selling most of my wares at local art & craft shows and some shops. Then in early 2011 two of my friends, who have successful Etsy shops, suggested that I give it a try. I took their advice & I opened my own shop. Yes, my Etsy shop is my full time job! You can always find me in my studio. When my business really started taking off I had to hire my sister to help me with shipping & other studio chores. I also have some great friends who come over when I’m flooded with orders and stay late into the night to help me with glazing and keep me company. I love how my studio has become a place where we talk and laugh as we create.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by all the beautiful nature around me! I live in the little beach town on the coast of California and always have. I can’t help but be inspired by birds, leaves, flowers, trees, shells, and the ocean.
Describe a typical day.
I begin with getting my children off to school then spending an hour or so in the morning on the computer, answering customers questions and managing the shop. With my handmade mug in hand, filled with my husband’s freshly roasted coffee, I venture into the studio & go through my notebook to see what I get to make for the day. I try to make something every day but sometimes I end up doing studio chores like glaze mixing, cleaning, organizing, getting orders ready to be shipped, loading and unloading the kilns, scraping kiln shelves, redecorating my pottery studio (I have to keep it fresh...I spend most of my time in there) and things like that.
What are 3 fun things we should know about you?
I have an absurdly large collection of scarves in just about every color that I love to wear. I am a glaze addict and I want to try every color there is. I have so many glazes that I lost count. I love to show my friends and family new things I've been working on and watch their faces light up.
What are 5 things you don't leave home without?
I have been known to leave home without anything but the clothes on my back but normally... its Keys, Kids, Cell Phone, Purse, Reusable Shopping Bags, the usual.
Connect With Her
Twitter - I post all my new items here!
by MRH, CMO