Artist Feature - Suzanne Kumar Ceramics
Our artist feature this month is Suzanne Kumar Ceramics, whose pieces I love using in my projects and my home. Suzanne's hand built technique paired with neutral glazes is her signature style. The organic simplicity of her plates, bowls, cups, mugs, and serving pieces marry form + function perfectly and make using her pieces in my client's homes a given for that warm minimal vibe.
Tell us about yourself and what you do in your business and the industries you work in.
Well, first, I’d like to thank you for featuring me! I love the minimalist, modern design aesthetic of Swell House. It’s one of my favorite backdrops for the kind of simple, imperfect ceramics I make. My business is currently pretty small. I’ve chosen to homeschool my two young daughters, so it has to be part-time right now. I do everything! I make and sign every piece, do all the photography, shipping, etc.
Why did you choose this particular business to pursue, passion or schooling.
Ceramics was really an intuitive choice for me. I was very drawn to the intimacy of a person using my art to eat and drink from. Food has always been central to my work. The minimalist palette I use was intended to let food be the star. My work is incomplete without the person on the other end using it, hopefully daily. There is something about using handmade ceramics that deepens our enjoyment and pulls us into the present, even if it’s fleeting. For me the ultimate satisfaction is when people send me pictures of what they’re eating on one of my bowls or plates.
What are some obstacles/wins you’ve encountered along the way.
I think any mother knows the challenges of getting work done when you have constant interruptions. Just now as I’m writing, my daughters came in and argued with me for 10 minutes about why they should be able to walk into the house with muddy feet.
A win for me is when my ceramics truly delight someone. When people send me messages about how much they love my work, it makes me feel that I’m really adding value to their life.
Who or what inspires you in your work.
I’m a bit obsessed with the imperfections in ceramics. When we walk the shores of a beach, why do we collect certain stones or pieces of driftwood? There is just something about the irregular shape that we admire and the way it feels in our hands. I love leaving little marks in my ceramics. I think it reminds people that it was once soft clay.
After you redesign your kitchen, whether it’s super minimalist, with wood and concrete, or ultra luxe with a dreamy slab of marble, you need organic elements to bring the room alive. I want to be the person who provides that unique, living element to your space.
Where do you see this business going in the next 5 years.
I’m always working on growing, yet with my choice to homeschool, I’m constantly having to give myself grace and remind myself that I’m not going to get there as fast as someone who’s able to work full-time. Ultimately, I’d love to have a thriving business and show my daughters that you can be successful at whatever you put your mind to. My next goals include: being featured in design magazines and hosting huge backyard dinners in collaboration with chefs.