One Wintry Night Pottery

Karen Wosoba of One Wintry Night Pottery specializes in functional stoneware for the home and garden. Karen joined us from her home studio is Menasha, Wisconsin for a little chat.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I was one of those quiet kids who's favorite class was always 'art.' To this day, I can lose track of time working on something creative. . . . anyway, when I learned that my high school offered a pottery class, I couldn't wait to take it! Since then, I've been pretty much hooked!

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Really, it's pottery! I had been kind of worried that as my pottery 'hobby' turned into a 'business,' it might loose some of it's magic for me - but I still love it!
My best days are spent on the potter's wheel . . . but I've also been surprised at how much I like the challenge of developing glazes, and understanding heatwork. Learning about business and marketing has been fun, too. . . . I guess I just really like being a one-person studio!

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your shop?
Time management, and keeping on top of everything! I always underestimate how much time I need for things like answering convos, and shipping, and bookkeeping - and keep reminding myself that I need to leave larger blocks of time in my day for this stuff.

I'm also very lucky that there seems to be enough interest in my work that keeping my Etsy shop full is a problem for me. I'd like to have 100 items listed, and I've never been even close - hopefully, this year I'll get there . . .

What item in your shop would you most like to receive as a gift if someone were shopping for you?
That's kind of a trick question, because thankfully, I really like all of the things I make! I often keep my 'seconds' (with pottery, I have a lot of them, especially when I'm developing something new!) so we have quite a bit of pottery that I consider 'flawed but pretty enough for us to use!'

One thing I don't have, though, is a casserole - so maybe a nice Maple leaf casserole would be a good gift!

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Some people have 'always' known they were going to be an artist, or teacher, or whatever - but I wasn't one of them! I guess I was kind of directionless -

. . . and, one thing I can say for sure, is that it NEVER occurred to me that I might be a potter! It didn't even cross my mind that it was a possibility until long after I had graduated from college. And, even then, when I started thinking, 'maybe I could sell pottery,' I was embarrassed to say it out loud because I thought of making a living from art as sort of a pipe dream . . .

What other shops out there do you love?
I love the work of Earth Elements, another Wisconsin potter.

Her organic forms are wonderful - I bought one of her bud vases and just love it -

. . . and, I have this bed by deliafurniture in my 'favorites.' I think it is absolutely perfect!

What does your future hold?
Hopefully a lot of muddy days!
I have notebooks full of ideas that I want to develop - the trick for me is staying focused, and not jumping to the next idea before I've finished what I've already got going!

That being said, I have ideas for new designs for my lanterns and violet pots, and tons of leaf-print ideas I'd like to work on this year. I'd also like to do more mantle piece 'art pottery,' and I'd like to get a slab roller so that I can make more uniform leaf-print tiles, and . . .