In Yarmouth, Maine, I had a chance to visit Alison Evans’s ceramics studio. Alison’s work is influenced by the organic shapes and textures of ocean life, and she has some really beautiful pieces. (How stunning are these shell-shaped teapots?)
The space itself has a great energy — lots of natural light floods the room, which includes a selection of furniture and paintings by fellow Maine artists, in addition to Alison’s own work. The studio itself occupies the back two-thirds of the shop, and even the floorboards bear the chalky traces of this ongoing artistic production. Alison wasn’t there the day I stopped in, but I got to talk to her assistant, who was working on some pieces in the studio that morning.
I’ve been interested in arts entrepreneurship recently, and in the ways that people are able to create a life and livelihood from their creative work. Alison’s example struck a cord with me. About five or six years older than I am, she has made grounded choices: to leave New York and root her life in Maine, and to build a collaborative business that stretches to hold her family and her own creative experimentation.
The shop at the front of the Yarmouth studio sells pieces from various collections, along with occasional seconds. She’s been doing an oyster series I really like, and I picked up a small piece from the collection while I was there.
Alison’s oyster dish now lives in my kitchen and holds teabags and the occasional mixing spoon.
I especially like the detail on the back of the dish, which sits next to an actual oyster shell — brought home earlier this summer from the oyster cellar down my street in Baltimore.