This Summer we launched The Maker's Collection; a celebration of craftsmanship, time-honoured traditional ways of hand making and the rich tapestry of human creativity.
In a world of mass production, AI and automation, we believe that the human touch and the artistry of skilled hands holds immense value. Hand made products carry stories and inspire connection.
To launch this new collection, we connected with some of our favorite artists, print makers, potters and makers to hear what hand making and creativity means to them.
This week we sat down with Jennifer Regan Seifert; potter and founder of Juno. We loved hearing about how her story and inspiration, and how working with clay brings connection to a craft as old as time.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Jennifer! Tell us a bit about yourself and Juno?
I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina in the U.S. with my husband and our three teenagers. I feel lucky to be able to balance family with running my small pottery business, creating artful forms for everyday use. Before starting my family, I was a teacher which lead me to homeschooling my kids for the first years of their education. After my kids made the transition into a more traditional school, I found myself searching for something for myself apart from mothering. I took a couple of ceramics courses and quickly found that working with my hands in clay was something I wanted to do as much as possible! That was the beginning of Juno Pottery about 5 or 6 years ago!
What made you fall in love with pottery?
My love of pottery began as a teenager in Oklahoma when I discovered unique pieces at thrift stores and began a small collection. This gathering of ceramics continued throughout my travels around the world as a newlywed from Peru to China. I think I was connecting to something meaningful, connecting to the places and the people who created the pieces. Pottery is transcendent in that it can be found in nearly any time and in every place. The earliest pottery found is believed to be 20,000 years old! In my craft, I get to tap into something as old as time.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I value simplicity and function as well as artful and elegant design. I am inspired by the natural world in my choices of clay bodies and understated glazes. I gravitate towards feminine silhouettes as can be seen in my curvy vases. I often find inspiration in music, interior spaces, architecture, artists and writers. Finding inspiration is limitless when you can be open to it. Being inspired can be a rare feeling, but when it comes I try to make space for it so that it can teach me something new in my craft.
Why are products made by hand special to you and how does this all impact what you choose to purchase?
My favorite objects are the ones I can pick up and attach a story or person to. I am not a perfect consumer, but I am trying to be more and more thoughtful about how I purchase things. I love finding second hand items whenever possible, and shopping with smaller businesses. Shopping small connects me to someone real who has a dream and a vision. It’s an important way to resist the offerings of mass production that ultimately comes at a cost to being human.
Finally, what's your favourite JOYN bag?
My favorite JOYN bag is the one that gets daily use. I have my JOYN toiletry bag sitting by my bathroom sink holding the items I use regularly. It is a lovely green hand blocked pinwheel print with an elegant brass latch. It’s been a perfect travel pouch for years. The new Maker’s Satchel I’ve recently been using is not only beautiful in it’s simplicity and special side detailing, it’s also practical for holding items I may need from house to studio to grocery store and back. It is quickly becoming my new favorite!
Jennifer wears the Maker's Satchel available here.