Clay + Craft
"Throwing can be addicting. When you’re able to feel it all come together, I compare it to catching a wave when surfing. I think others can relate to that. And it’s what pushed me to open the storefront in November 2019.
"In 2020, I hope the community makes use of the space. I want to get as many people as possible to take a turn at the wheel and stop by to enjoy a DIY hand building project. We provide one-on-one or one-on-two lessons. You can also reserve a wheel for uninstructed time to work at your own pace, or hand-build a mug, vase, pots, whatever your heart desires. I plan to host team builders, girls’ nights, and private gatherings. Plus, new work will be coming—vases, wall decor. I hope that in 20-plus years, these creations will still reside in someone’s home and outlast home decor trends. I like to think my work is that hard-to-find balance of refined yet organic. Stay tuned."
—Nicole Novena, owner of Clay + Craft, 810 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
Garden Study Ceramics
"For 10 years I chased wildfires, hurricanes, criminals, and national headlines from city to city as an anchor and reporter for KNBC Los Angeles and KGTV San Diego. I hung up the mic to chase my little ones and dive into something new—to be honest, I wanted time to myself. The stillness drew me into this craft.
"I started with a mound of clay wobbling under my fingers. There were a few attempts when my clay literally flew off the wheel across the room! I was frustrated, but learned that ceramics is about patience and centering yourself first. The concentration required quiets a frazzled mom’s mind.
"My studio sits on a mountain in 4S Ranch / Del Sur and opens up to a wildflower canyon that explodes with bright colors every season. I run the most sustainable practice by reclaiming, reusing, and recycling materials. Even my kiln is solar powered.
"This spring, I have a patent-pending tableware invention rolling out: a modular ceramic dinnerware set that configures into hundreds of tablescape settings."
—Janet Kim, owner of Garden Study Ceramics
"We found a crazy deal on this spot in Ocean Beach last year. This was an old lingerie place. It had bright colors, fitting rooms, and mirrors, and we had to expand doorways and put a kiln in. Now we wake up and are like, ‘Oh my gosh, we get to make ceramics all day.’ It feels like you’re a kid sometimes, playing with mud. Part of the process is slowing down and focusing on one thing at a time. Having dirty hands means you can’t look at your phone or look up whether you’re doing it right.
"We work when our retail is open, because part of it is letting people in and seeing the process, helping them understand why it’s a $30 mug instead of $5."
—Michaela Maes and Ryan Shoemaker, married owners of Maek, 1918 Bacon Street, Ocean Beach