Meet Petra Wellborn Kaiser of Sandbox Ceramics.
What’s your background as a creator?
My grandmother was a big creative inspiration growing up. She was a potter, painter and jewelry maker among other things. Since I can remember I was drawing and crafting which as I got older grew into a desire to make a career out of creating and working with my hands. In my twenties I found myself in quite a few different creative jobs and internships as I tried to figure out what felt right. Floral design, event design, photography, graphic design etc.. I eventually enrolled in a beginner ceramics course at a local community college and instantly fell in love with wheel thrown pottery and quickly bought a used wheel. I turned my dining room into a little studio and spent all my free time practicing. I somehow landed an internship helping out a Portland potter that eventually turned into a full time job and worked with her for years while building Sandbox Ceramics in my offtime. In early 2019 I finally took the big plunge and went full time in my own studio and here we are!
What inspires your work?
I work primarily on the potters wheel throwing functional ceramics that are simple, yet playful. I've always been a sucker for graphic patterns, straight lines and abstract art/ shapes, so I strive to make work that plays into those ideas while still being simple and minimal enough to have displayed in different styles of homes. When in need of some inspiration I love to look at interiors, textiles or some of my grandmother's old sketchbooks. Sometimes even just buying a new type of clay or pottery tool inspires something new.
Do you have a special routine that you get into before you start creating? Any kind of music you listen to, do you make yourself a cup of coffee, etc.?
Yes, coffee always! I also like to start with a clean studio. I get super distracted by disorganization and messes, so it’s usually best that I start every day with tidying up from the day before. Then I’ll usually light a candle/ diffuser/ incense and put on a podcast. I go heavy on comedy podcasts, NPR and true crime.
What do you hope that people get out of your work?
So much time and care goes into each and every pot, so I just hope they fall in love with a quality handmade piece of my work that makes them smile!
What’s your proudest moment as an artist?
My proudest moment was when I was finally able to quit my day jobs to work for myself full time. Taking that plunge was pretty terrifying but very worth it in the end. I feel so lucky to wake up everyday and make things out of mud for a living!
What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
I live in the PNW, so winters are pretty wet and dreary. I enjoy spending time with my husband cooking, playing board games and working on DIY home renovations. I also love escaping to the moody winter Oregon coastline or to Mt. Hood to snowboard.