6 THINGS WITH ANNA RICHARDSON
6 Things with Anna Richardson Founder of Pepper Stone Ceramics
Based in Virginia, Anna is an artist and founder of Pepper Stone Ceramics. The first item she created for her brand is her notable Grid Mug. She initially made this product years ago at a community studio and that moment became the start of it all. Anna was working as a marketing manager and as a barista but made the leap to go full-time in ceramics during the pandemic. The fulfillment of being self employed is one of the many reasons she chose to start her business. She now creates all of her pieces in her home studio. You can see the amount of detail and care in all of her ceramic pieces that she creates from start to finish by hand. Functional and beautiful with a sense of connection.
1. What started it all for you?
I grew up in a very arts-driven household. When I went to college, I was initially pursuing painting and life-drawing within my studio-art minor. Being in a Liberal Arts College, I took an array of classes which led me to my first ceramics course. I was instantly captivated by the process, challenges, and deep-rooted history behind pottery and went on to take two more classes before graduating in 2018. Post-grad, I became a member of different community studios around town. I made many pots there and sold what I could via Instagram or at different markets around town, but my pieces were all one-offs and didn't exactly fit into a theme or brand. In 2020, I was unemployed due to Covid (from both of my jobs at the time) and realized what I really wanted to do with my life - ceramics. I spent all year saving my money and creating a business plan. Upon moving to Charlottesville with my boyfriend into a house with studio space, I bought a kiln, a wheel, shelves, and dove in head first.
2. What drives your creative spark?
Pottery being so constantly hands-on always helps my creativity. After a long day of throwing repeated shapes, I usually throw one to two more challenging or fun objects that I have been wanting to experiment with. Sometimes I have no plan and just see what happens on the wheel. Those objects can turn into new products for my brand, a one-off I keep, or can end up in the trash! If you've done pottery, you know small successes or failures are within every step of the process, and the learning will never stop. Luckily, the ceramics community is one of the most knowledgable, open-minded, curious, and supportive groups I know. My work inspiration comes from that community and its ancient roots, juxtaposed with my modern-day lens.
3. Most treasured home decor item?
Our wooden bar cabinet that we thrifted on marketplace, sanded it down by hand, and restained it. It was our first major furniture flip and my partner and I are really proud of the elbow grease we put in it.
4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is to have the mindset of a student and never think you are too old to ask questions or know too much to learn something new.
5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?
My go-to is a glass of wine, usually a mid-shelf cabernet from Trader Joe's. But on the weekends I like to get a little fancier with cocktails. Right now my favorite has been a whiskey sour with fresh-squeezed lemon, simple syrup, egg white (dry-shaken), with angostura bitters to garnish.
6. What are your favorite 6 accounts that you follow for inspiration?
SHOP ANNA'S 6 HOME PICKS
"Pottery being so constantly hands-on always helps my creativity. After a long day of throwing repeated shapes, I usually throw one to two more challenging or fun objects that I have been wanting to experiment with. Sometimes I have no plan and just see what happens on the wheel." -Anna Richardson