Outlander: Outlanderpreneurs Share Pottery, Calligraphy

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More beautiful fan-made Outlander-inspired items! The creativity and talent of the Outlander fandom is amazing, and I have two more artists to present to you.

Bass Clay Works, Tamara Bass

I run a small pottery business, Bass Clay Works, out of my home in Rocky Mount, NC. I make my pieces at home and use two local studios to do all of my glazing and kiln firing. I do a combination of throwing on the pottery wheel and hand building. All of my items are food safe as well as dishwasher, oven and microwave safe. I focus mainly on making pieces for cooking and serving but I also make decorative pieces for home and garden such as flower pots. I share a birthday with JAMMF and as a very practical Taurus, I love for my things to beautiful but functional for everyday use.

I took my first pottery class in April of 2015 which was also about the time I discovered Outlander. I discovered the show through a blog post right after episode 5 aired. I binge watched the first 5 episodes, eagerly waited for episode 6 and immediately started the book series. At this point, I was hopelessly obsessed with this story. I hadn’t thought about it before now, but my 2 obsessions began at just about the same time!

The first time I put my hands in clay I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I love simple lines, and like Outlander, I take so much inspiration from nature. I commonly use leaves, shells, animals, birds, flowers, etc in my designs. Lately I have been making some Outlander inspired dragonfly pieces including plates, bowls, pitchers and mugs. I just bought some new “amber” colored glaze to experiment with so look for some new dragonfly items soon! Outlander inspires me in several ways. First, I think Claire has a true passion and calling for healing. We don’t see enough of strong women being true to their calling. Finding your true passion in life is something that can be difficult to do, it took me 46 years to find mine in pottery! For me time stops when I am at “work”, and there is nothing I would rather be doing. Also, I love how often this story showcases those small beautiful moments in life that pop up amid the trials and struggles that we all face. Pottery can be like that in a way. It sounds silly, but sometimes just having beautiful things around me like a pretty mug for my morning coffee can cheer me up and be that small peaceful moment in a crazy day. Yes, I know, I really am obsessed with pottery.

Find Tamara’s items here:

Calligraphics, Cheryl Tefft

I was introduced to calligraphy in one of those survey art classes in junior high school. My teacher wrote HOW NOW BROWN COW in a form of calligraphy, and I was hooked. I was fascinated by lettering, but it was a societal expectation at that time that artists were automatically going to fall into the “starving” category. I like to eat on a semi-regular basis, so instead of considering lettering as a possible career path, I dabbled in it as a hobby until after college. I have a degree in applied mathematics, and at the time I finished college there wasn’t a great market for entry-level jobs in my chosen field (actuarial science), so I started exploring other possibilities. In 1993, I took the plunge and founded Calligraphics.
The real joy for me comes when I get to see and hear the excitement from clients and other people when they see my work; it makes people so happy, and that makes me happy. An artist’s work is not done until the art goes out into the world and affects people’s emotions. I often get to work with people who are making positive transitions in their lives—they’re getting married, having a baby, retiring, graduating, or otherwise being honored—and that has the potential to be a joyful experience. It is my privilege and honor to bring a little more beauty and joy into the lives of other people.
I have a background which includes both art and science, with a large measure of literature stirred in; I read about a book a day, on average. One of the most appealing aspects of Outlander is that the story and the characters are so complex, as real human beings are. There is room in the world of Outlander for both war and deep love, for both humor and wrenching grief, and for people who are both deeply flawed and loving, filling the role of saint and sinner at the same time. That makes them truly real.
Basically, for almost anything you can imagine that involves writing and is associated with weddings, I’ve probably been involved with creating some form of it. I was inspired to create a wedding invitation for Jamie and Claire because I love these characters so deeply that I wish I could find a way through the time gap so I could talk with them every day, and using my skills to create a wedding invitation for them is the sort of thing I would want to do for close friends. I have never had the privilege of going to Scotland in person, or visiting Versailles, but watching the show version of Outlander has been a feast for the artist’s eye, with the lush greens and heather of the Highland hills, which contrast with the rich silks and brocades of the Parisian court. The colors I chose for the keepsake invitation were drawn from the beauty of Scotland, as it was made real to me through the eyes of Season 1.
Most of my work is not Outlander-related. However, one of the interesting things about my work is that you never know what surfaces clients will decide they want to have hand-lettered. My completely custom work starts at $100.00 and has been known to go as high as $4500 for a large variety of hand-lettered pieces for a designer wedding, but you can get a personalized, hand-painted version of Jamie and Claire’s invitation for $80.00 and a non-personalized version for $30.00. Non-customized bookmarks are available for about $15.00.

Find Cheryl’s work here:

On Facebook (Calligraphics), Etsy

Do you know an Outlanderpreneur who should be part of this series? Let me know!

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Erin Conrad