Expression through a nice lump of clay rolling around in your hands, cool and malleable to the touch, seems quite romantic—enough to sweep you away into an artistic frenzy. Your clothing would be ever sprinkled in bits of dust and smudges of slip. Few may know the amount of labor that goes into each piece of handmade ceramics. It’s not all carefree and straightforward. It’s the kind of work that continually breaks a sweat and demands your dirty sleeves be rolled up to accommodate.
In the photos below, you’re getting a peek into Elysia Vandenbussche Kelly’s studio, ElysiaVK. It’s an inspiring spot, even more so when she’s hard a work. Although Elysia may make it appear effortless, she’s accomplished a heck of a lot. She’s set up shop in downtown Detroit and keeps the art work flowing from her personal kiln. Her advice for any other young women hoping to follow in a similar path is:
“Work hard, but don’t hold what you do too tightly. Be open to change and evolving. Embrace your failures, it’s an opportunity to grow. If you’re scared, keep going. There’s no guidebook, so make choices that work for you, not what you think you should be or what’s accepted. Take a risk, but if something isn’t working remember whatever you’re doing is not worth your happiness.” —ElysiaVK