Minneapolis ceramist and illustrator, Rachel Vitko, was one of the first artists I met as I was formulating what DLR would eventually become. We had an instant rapport based on candid, personal conversations; such as our own struggles with mental health and having parents who are artists. We both hate small talk!
Rachel was a self-taught illustrator until she attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design for graphic design. She realized she preferred making with her hands, so she dropped out and found her way to a pottery class to learn how to draw on clay.
Our collaboration started with our personalized Hootenanny Dog Bowls. Last fall we decided to meet up and talk about a new bowl offering. While chatting, Rachel shared that both her mental and physical health were fragile due to the physical and psychological demands and stresses of being a full-time artist. In her view “our culture as a whole doesn’t really support artists. It seems burnout is inevitable. If you don’t create, you don’t have paid sick days or medical insurance. There are times when creativity is blocked and it can cause panic.” In addition, she admitted it’s a constant struggle to figure out how to price her work.
These are common themes I’ve heard from other artisans I’ve worked with, and it’s heartbreaking and frustrating to hear. In a society where art education is the first to get cut in public school programs, and where many artists are pricing their goods so low because the market doesn’t support buying at a price that reflects the actual hours spent on a piece. PLEASE keep this in mind before you criticize the high cost of a handmade item.
The product of our newest collaboration is called the Carousel Bowl. It’s hand thrown with carefully (!) hand painted black stripes on the outside with the interior glazed in four different colors. We love the bowl’s versatility – it could fit in with any decor type – while it includes that pop of color DLR is known for!
We encourage you to check out Rachel’s other amazing work at Rachel Vitko Pottery!
What are some of your favorite ceramic artists? Tell us all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristin, Trixie + Ziggy