The Californian desert inspired our latest collection and provided the mesmerising backdrop for its campaign shoot. Whilst there, we met a number of truly inspirational artists and makers whose stories we just had to share. Here, we chat to Bailey Jones – founder of Sage Ceramics – about working with earth, creative intuition and the magical energy of her Joshua Tree surroundings.
What drew you to become a potter?
Pottery kind of snuck up on me. I took one class in college, dropped all my courses and only took Studio. Haven’t looked back since.
You’ve described shaping wet, raw earth into functional pieces of art as setting your soul on fire (which we love, by the way). How do you draw inspiration for each piece?
I find inspiration everywhere, but most of my work is heavily inspired by the nature around me. Clay is earth that has yet to find its permanent form. Clay holds the same energy and vibration as the giant rocks of Joshua Tree around me. I’m really lucky in my craft, that if I just lean into my intuition, the clay really does the work for me.
You’re based in one of the most beautiful places on earth. How does the magical energy of Joshua Tree inspire your designs?
Joshua Tree is a special kind of trippy place. The energy here is active. I find myself thinking of something only to have it manifested later that day. Joshua tree doesn’t just inspire you – it changes you. The land here helps you to be who you want to be. And that’s exactly what it’s done with my pots.
We’re constantly pushing our materials and process to try to be as sustainable as possible. Where do you source your materials from?
I buy my clay locally in southern California from a family-owned business. Leftover and scrap clay is recycled and made into new pieces. Each piece is made in my hands – there’s no industrial production in Sage Ceramics’ future.
Your studio is a little tack room in Joshua Tree that you share with the horses and goats who live with you. Can you talk us through your space?
I’m very lucky to have been surrounded by animals most of my life. We are California country people for sure. My grandma was that hot chick in a black Cadillac at the rodeo, so it was very natural to have goats on the living room couch growing up. Luckily, every Saturday and Sunday, Bill and Joanne bring my favourite goat to Mane Street. I just pop out of The Pioneertown Pottery Shop and get full snuggles.
What are your plans for this year – any interesting projects we should look out for?
This year is all about big impactful pieces. Large fountains, lighting – statement pieces that started on the pottery wheel. As I move into a larger studio space, I’ll be moving to pieces with a little more awe.
Who are the women who inspire you?
All women inspire me! A fellow artist out here told me once: “In the desert, the men are trash, but the women are amazing”. Some of my biggest motivators are the women in my community.
Follow Bailey on her Instagram @sageceramics.
Discover the Back To Origin Collection.