BeccaJaneStudio Becca Koehler Ceramics and Interview
You know when you follow someone on Instagram that you are equal parts inspired by and jealous of? For me, that is Becca Jane Koehler of @beccajanestudio. I’m not an aspiring ceramicist, so I’m not sure why I’m jealous, except that her grid of sun-drenched shots of playfully painted Delft Blue and white porcelain makes me long for a strong signature style and medium. The photos of her pieces en masse are my favorite, stacks and stacks of snake entwined mugs, flat-lay collections of plates with rabbit, snake, eye and floral motifs in her signature blue, unexpected red or muted black. I had the privilege of reaching out to Becca with all my amassed questions on her inspiration, staying motivated and finding her way.

Berry from Trial by Inspiration: How did you get your start in ceramics? Have you always been into illustration?
Becca @beccajanestudio: I started ceramics by taking a class with a friend at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. When I moved to Nashville, I continued my ceramics lessons at the Clay Lady Campus where I very quickly felt at home.Becca Jane Koehler Ceramics Interview about inspiration and processTBI: I love the blue and white work! Tell me more about what inspired this collection?
BJK: When I was in first grade, my family moved from a small steel town in Pennsylvania to the Netherlands for work. For 18 months I attended school in The Hague and spent the weekends traveling Europe with my family. After visiting many museums, I was influenced by the blue and white Delft pottery in the region, and I realized I wanted to be an artist.TBI: In your work, are you more rewarded by your creative process or the end product?
BJK: Absolutely the creative process. Fully immersing myself in a project quiets my mind.BeccaJaneStudio Becca Koehler Ceramics Interview about inspiration and process

TBI: Outside of your work and medium, where do you find inspiration?
BJK: There are strong influences of nature in my art. Snakes embody the things I love in art: color, pattern, movement, and symbolism. After a recent spring cleaning, I realized that I also love collecting vintage fabrics, wallpaper, and kitchen items.

BeccaJaneStudio Becca Koehler Ceramics Interview about inspiration and process snake

TBI: Full disclosure, I scrolled pretty far back into your feed, it seems like nature and authenticity have inspired you for a long time and continue to be relevant in your motifs. Does the more intentional (and gorgeous) marketing you do now on your account come naturally or have you had to develop it?
BJK: I always wanted to share my artwork but never felt comfortable in my artistic voice, so it was easier to share photos of what inspired me. Since establishing my studio at the Clay Lady Campus, I have been fortunate to be a part of a community of very supportive artists. That support made me feel more comfortable sharing my own work.

Becca Jane Koehler Ceramics Interview about inspiration and process

TBI: I was intrigued to read in your bio that you illustrated for some big companies in the dinnerware industry for ten years before starting your hand painted collections, can you tell us more about how you made the leap from corporate to artisan?
BJK: My transition to artisan was slow. My corporate career began at Target where I designed home goods for six years. I left Target to work remotely for a dinnerware manufacturer, in order to spend more time with family and in nature. After another six years, I transitioned to freelance for more artistic freedom. I didn’t set out to start a pottery business, but after years of doing dinnerware illustrations, painting on plates was a natural way to express myself. While my illustrations have been featured on home goods at retailers internationally, I’d never had the opportunity to sell that artwork under my own name. Now, in addition to pottery, I work as a freelance illustrator. I have been fortunate to have had a career in art my whole adult life.

TBI: Do you have any tips on how to get unstuck creatively, when you can’t find your muse?
BJK: If you’re burnt out, take a break and go for a hike. If you can’t get started, make something, anything because that is where ideas come from; creating leads to creativity.

Thank you so much Becca for our conversation on your stunning work, being a working artist and finding motivation and inspiration. To learn more about her work you can check out her website: http://www.beccajane.com/ shop her covetable  Etsy and check out @clayladycampus

Ceramics and Snake Images provided by Becca Jane Koehler @beccajanestudio

In Studio Image by Tammy Gentuso @tammygentuso

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