Local Makers: Jacob and J.R. of Spirits Scents

I met Jacob at our local yoga studio. Jacob part of the team behind Spirits Scents - amazing hand poured candles in upcycled bottles. Read more about how they got started below! 

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What do you make?

Custom Liquor and Wine Bottle Candles. 

How did you get started making?

By accident! When our local trash company stopped accepting glass as a recyclable, we took action. J.R. started a "Save the Bottle Campaign" with fellow bartenders and restaurants that grew very quickly. Then, along came Jacob with his entrepreneurial spirit and some candle making experience and Spirits Scents was born. We now have over 40 recycle partners and that number is growing daily.

What does your average day look like?

We collect bottles from our recycling partners in the mornings. We usually cut bottles in the afternoons. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we make candles.

What inspires you to keep making work? 

The fact that we make something 100% unique for each customer. (Create a custom candle here!)

What is the hardest lesson you learned through your business/creative process?

That what we like isn't always what other people like. (Uhg! Yes! This is so tough.)

What's the best part about doing what you do?

Knowing how much glass we are preventing from hitting a landfill.

What are you working on now? 

We are continuing to find recycling partners and finalizing our website.

See the Spirits Scent team at the maker's Mash on Saturday June 30th! And check out their Facebook and Instagram for a sneak peek at what they're working on! Get more info on the Maker's Mash here!

Local Makers: Micki Soresi of Soresi Ceramics

I met Micki through a Maker's Mash friend and spent about way. too. many. minutes. watching her videos! Her process is so amazing. I loved hearing more of her story, including how she uses her art to help both animals and others heal. I'm so looking forward to hanging out with her on Saturday at the very first Maker's Mash! So let's get to it:

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What do you make?

Small Batch, One-of-Kind Pottery: Horsehair Raku, Glazed Raku, Stoneware and more.

How did you get started making?

I started working on the pottery wheel when I was 16-17 in my high school art class at Oakwood High School. It was taught by an amazing teacher, Taylor St Clair, who encouraged her students to do what they were drawn to and then guided us with that art form. She was so instrumental in my high school years, even beyond the art, that my husband and I chose to have her officiate our wedding in 2003. After working on the wheel on and off since high school, I decided to start Soresi Ceramics, LLC in January 2017 and to dedicate all my creative flow to it. It’s been an amazing journey so far.

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What does your average day look like?

My average day is like a juggling show, especially during school breaks when my 10 year old daughter is home. I think most work at home parents know exactly what I mean. It can be challenging to find a balance that works. I often find myself working late at night or into the morning hours when my family is asleep. I’ve always been a night owl, so this is alright by me. I also travel with my wheel whenever possible, so you’ll find me working on the beach, at the lake, or when travel is light, just out in my yard or on our back porch. I rarely leave my wheel in the studio.. it’s always moving around with me.

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What inspires you to keep making work? Where do you go / what do you do to shake out of a creative rut.

Helping Save the Horses with my business keeps me very motivated. I donate 50% of my sales of “Rescue Horsehair Raku” to Save the Horses in Cumming, GA. I use hair from Horses there to create the pieces and you’ll find the name of the horse on the bottom of the pot. 25% of my horsehair raku custom orders also benefits them. My daughter and I have volunteered there together once a week for over a year now. We first went there in 2010 with a playgroup I organized and ran called, Cherokee Kids. I knew then that it was a special place and decided right there that when she was old enough, we’d volunteer there together. We just love it! All of the horses (and other animals that call STH home) have usually been through some sort of trauma that led them there. They are rescued, rehabilitated, and adopted out whenever possible. It’s so rewarding to see how all the volunteers work together to help change that animals world - teaching them to trust humans and giving them all the love they deserve. STH does so much good in this crazy world and my “Rescue Horsehair Raku” is what I can do to help them. When I’m in a rut, I go to the rescue or anywhere in nature to breathe. I allow myself a break and try to not put pressure on myself to produce. I’m not about mass production, I’m about making unique one-of-a kind pottery, so that each customer has something truly special.

What is the hardest lesson you learned through your business/creative process?

I’ve learned that it is so much more than just making pottery. The office side of it is not my cup of tea as with most artists and business owners. Taxes, bookkeeping etc, but it needs to be done. It’s about finding a balance in that, in my home life and for me, how my art can help others.

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What's the best part about making what you make?

The best part is doing what I love.. creating my art. Working on the wheel is a sort of therapy for me. It’s also a joy to be able to help others heal through it too. I make custom horsehair raku pieces where you can pick out a “blank canvas” pottery piece or custom order one and send me your horse’s hair. I will then have a horsehair raku session for them where I burn the horse’s hair on it leaving unique carbon imprints. It’s amazing to be able to make a custom horsehair raku piece for someone with their beloved horse’s hair, especially when that horse has passed away. It can be very healing to that person and it’s a super special way for them to honor it. I feel privileged to be a part of that process.

What are you working on now?

Soresi Ceramics offers “Pop-up Pottery Parties” where I bring my studio to you for bisque pottery painting, clay hand-building and/or wheel lessons. This is a great way to get me out of my home studio, around lots of great people and to share my love of pottery with others. I enjoy working with kids and adults alike. It’s so much fun!

Check out Micki's Instagram and Facebook page for some videos of horsehair raku sessions and glazed raku sessions. (Seriously, just watching the process is entrancing!) She will be at the Maker's Mash this Saturday (6/16) at Reformation Brewery. Come shop her amazing work and see her on her wheel! (You guessed it! She's bringing it with her!) RSVP on Facebook here!

Local Makers: Samantha Muntz of Peachy Buckeye Designs

 Local Makers: Samantha Muntz of Peachy Buckeye Designs

I met Samantha though a local arts based nonprofit called Paint Love. Samantha makes jewelry inspired by travel. Think Ireland’s grassy meadows, Ohio’s wheat fields, Arizona’s canyons, Atlanta’s hustling skyline, to pagodas in South Korea, and coffee shops near and far. Heart eyes! Sounds dreamy right? Take a peek into her process and story below - and don't forget to check out her work in person at the Maker's Mash on June 16th!

How did you get started making?

I have always been sort of crafty and prefer to make my family and friends presents for different occasions. A couple years ago, I made a few personalized necklaces for my roommates at the time and as they wore them around, their friends and family noticed and started asking if I could make necklaces for them. It kind of took off from there.

What does your average day look like?

My day always starts with a good cup of coffee! Then it's a mix of working as an admin, working on jewelry pieces, trying out new recipes for dinner, catching up with friends.

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Sounds so lovely! What do you do to keep things fresh and inspired?

My travels inspire me. When I am stuck in a creative rut, going on even a day trip somewhere can help me to come up with new ideas by just going somewhere new and talking to the people I meet along the way. A lot of my pieces are inspired by stories from people I have met while traveling.

What is the hardest lesson you learned through your business/creative process?

One of the hardest things I have learned probably be how to balance the creative side and the business side of things.

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Preach! What's your favorite part about making?

Getting to hear the stories behind what draws people to different pieces. Most of my designs are inspired by places and people I have come across when traveling. Then when I go to sell these designs, I love interacting with people and hearing their story and what draws them to certain designs.

What are you working on now? 

Right now I am working on incorporating organics into my resin pieces, things like coffee beans and flowers.

View Samantha's jewelry on Instagram and Facebook, and don't forget to check out her shop! See her in person at the Maker's Mash on June 16th!