The Etsy Blog

Process: Sweet Peas with Kim Westad

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For this week’s video we are resurfacing an old favorite.

Kim Westad is a ceramics artist who lives and works in the Bronx, New York. She opened up her studio to show me the delicate process involved in making her Sweet Pea porcelain vessels. The Sweet Peas are minimal and elegantly rotund little “characters,” and despite having a simple matte white finish of unglazed porcelain on the outside, their true colors shine from the inside out. Each Sweet Pea is similar to the others, but completely unique in and of itself.

Kim’s story starts like many others’ — she was formally trained in Graphic Design — but after she found working for others artistically unfulfilling, she took a friend’s advice and started attending a pottery class. Five years later she has the successful ceramics career she enjoys today.

Watching Kim’s process firsthand, it’s clear to me that she draws on her background to unify her work, but clearer still is that she is doing exactly what she was designed to do. Seeing her forms take shape through swift graceful movements is both inspiring and mesmerizing. Her hands and wrists move in calculated yet fluid motions, while her gaze is calmly fixed on every minute detail of her work.

With such a refined skill, it is difficult to imagine Kim making a mistake, but she says much of her success lies in errors. Like a phoenix from ashes, she concedes that if she can make something once  — even if it fails — she can always make it better a second time.

Visit Kim’s Shop | Watch more Process Videos | Ceramics and Pottery Category

  • bbbennyandthejet

    bbbennyandthejet says:

    FUN!! Oh I love hearing more about artists that have found their true medium and calling.. *warm fuzzies* -Benny

    6 years ago

  • ModernMetalJewelry

    ModernMetalJewelry says:

    Kim - Your work is just awesome! Love the white with all the colors!

    6 years ago

  • adoreneko

    adoreneko says:

    Beautiful vessels. Love the flower mug! Keep up the amazing work!

    6 years ago

  • ShauneilSupplies

    ShauneilSupplies says:

    What a cool process and beautiful finished product!

    6 years ago

  • LaveMeSoapCo

    LaveMeSoapCo says:

    that looks sooo relaxing

    6 years ago

  • MayaBella

    MayaBella says:

    Very very cool! Her work is so beautiful! I love ceramics. I have been looking for an open studio where I can fire some pieces. No luck.

    6 years ago

  • JessicaTorrant

    JessicaTorrant says:

    What a beautiful, meditative video. I love your work, Kim!

    6 years ago

  • travellingcircus

    travellingcircus says:

    Wonderful work...very inspiring to learn about artists that start off in a different field of work and eventually find their calling!

    6 years ago

  • missindie

    missindie says:

    Oh my gosh, so cute!!!

    6 years ago

  • jCranejewelry

    jCranejewelry says:

    Watching her work is soothing...from the bright, crisp, white studio space to the repetitive spinning of the wheel! Love the work, so clean and beautiful!

    6 years ago

  • EarthElements

    EarthElements says:

    Simple and elegant work, definitely with character.

    6 years ago

  • waisze

    waisze says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching the video. Amazing artist. Truly beautiful work!

    6 years ago

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu says:

    Wow!! Very beautiful and organic! Love the delicate Fruit Bowl.

    6 years ago

  • PipingHotPapers

    PipingHotPapers says:

    Now that's what I call a featured artist!! Loved the video and the process of creating!

    6 years ago

  • ASADesigns

    ASADesigns says:

    These are so beautiful and unique! They remind me of little sea creatures! Wonderful!

    6 years ago

  • EJPcreations

    EJPcreations says:

    Her creations are soooo amazing!!!!

    6 years ago

  • embellishjewelry

    embellishjewelry says:

    So simple, yet they make a very powerful statement. Beautiful!

    6 years ago

  • timberdoodledesigns

    timberdoodledesigns says:

    I love to hear about graphic designers finding their true calling (and making a living) in a medium other than computers!!! Way to go, Kim, and wonderful work!

    6 years ago

  • yumiyumi

    yumiyumi says:

    Thanks for sharing your work process Kim! Your work is beautiful.

    6 years ago

  • midnightgrammar

    midnightgrammar says:

    Great video into Kim's process. I've always loved her pieces, they're so simple and beautiful.

    6 years ago

  • sleepymoondesign

    sleepymoondesign says:

    I love the sweet peas they are so cute. She is very talented and makes it look so easy on the wheel.

    6 years ago

  • ArtMind

    ArtMind says:

    I love Kim's work & really enjoyed seeing the process! Thanks heaps for sharing! :)

    6 years ago

  • mudpuppy

    mudpuppy says:

    Gorgeous. You really captured that intimate quite time when making ceramics and when one is really connecting with their work. Kim is an inspiration.

    6 years ago

  • AprilAdriance

    AprilAdriance says:

    Amazing!Beautiful!

    6 years ago

  • TheSpeeceCollection

    TheSpeeceCollection says:

    Your theme and variation of your sweet peas is quite eye-catching! Lovely work.

    6 years ago

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf says:

    Gorgeous video, stunning work! I loved watching Kim at the wheel, her delicate touch and focused intent.

    6 years ago

  • pengpengs

    pengpengs says:

    Love Kim's work! what great insight to her process!

    6 years ago

  • LifeInThePastLane

    LifeInThePastLane says:

    Kudos to Kim - fabulous pieces!

    6 years ago

  • jenniferlynnstudio

    jenniferlynnstudio says:

    I loved watching the video and the creative process at work. Absolutely gorgeous..Love the Sweet peas!

    6 years ago

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts says:

    Very nice

    6 years ago

  • JulieMeyer

    JulieMeyer says:

    Lovely. Makes me long for the days when I dabbled on the wheel. What a wonderful studio space.

    6 years ago

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel says:

    absolutely beautiful work..always inspiring to see an artist create... thank you for sharing!

    6 years ago

  • michelemaule

    michelemaule says:

    That was so much fun to watch! Now I'm inspired to make ceramics :D hehe...if only I had the time.

    6 years ago

  • FrucciDesign

    FrucciDesign says:

    fantastic space!!

    6 years ago

  • SweetPeaFabrications

    SweetPeaFabrications says:

    What a beautiful video! You have become one of my favorites! Hope to be back to shop!

    6 years ago

  • DeBonisOrquera

    DeBonisOrquera says:

    Beautiful!

    6 years ago

  • dragonhouseofyuen

    dragonhouseofyuen says:

    thanks for the video of Kim working - it was a priviledge to have an insight into her work. Conflict yet harmony! thank you!

    6 years ago

  • stubborndog

    stubborndog says:

    Yay! One of my first favorited shops. Beautiful work.

    6 years ago

  • VedaArtsFabrics

    VedaArtsFabrics says:

    pretty frickin' rad

    6 years ago

  • zeropumpkin

    zeropumpkin says:

    i love ceramic used to learn that b4..this all so beautiful :D

    6 years ago

  • memekiwii

    memekiwii says:

    i so much enjoy watching other potters at work..this was a great video from start to finish!! Thank you! xoxoxo

    6 years ago

  • TheFigLeaf

    TheFigLeaf says:

    Those are stunning - fantastic pics also!

    6 years ago

  • tinalewis

    tinalewis says:

    I love her work. Can't wait to watch the video.

    6 years ago

  • vitamini

    vitamini says:

    That was a beautiful video. I feel so relaxed after watching it! Gorgeous ceramics, too.

    6 years ago

  • eclecticmoi

    eclecticmoi says:

    I so enjoyed this video! Thank You so much Kim for sharing your process with us, Your pieces are just Gorgeous ♥

    6 years ago

  • patspottery

    patspottery says:

    She is a true ceramic artist!

    6 years ago

  • Lirola

    Lirola says:

    Wonderful pieces!

    6 years ago

  • MSHandbags

    MSHandbags says:

    What a great video, it's so wonderful to be invited into Kim's studio.

    6 years ago

  • amyluo

    amyluo says:

    I love her pieces and I love her! She was such a sweet person when I met her at 2007's Renegade Craft fair! It was pretty amazing, getting to see the process, that is.

    6 years ago

  • threelle

    threelle says:

    I love the pieces I purchased from you! I get so many compliments on them. I really enjoyed watching this video to see you in action!

    6 years ago

  • woollypuppy

    woollypuppy says:

    That was beautiful to watch!

    6 years ago

  • CoraDesigns

    CoraDesigns says:

    Beautiful work thank you

    6 years ago

  • polarity

    polarity says:

    So amazing and beautiful! Kim has such incredible skill she can make this look effortless and I have worked on the wheel and it is so hard. What talent and inspiration!

    6 years ago

  • lucyy325

    lucyy325 says:

    Your work is sooo beautiful and I have finally had the pleasure to see you create them. I want to buy every one of them.

    6 years ago

  • mythunderstood

    mythunderstood says:

    Relaxes me just to look at her pieces!

    6 years ago

  • reiter8

    reiter8 says:

    Been a fan of Kim's work for sometime now. Very nice to see the process - makes me appreciate it that much more. It's very calming listen and watch - thanks!

    6 years ago

  • sherrytruitt

    sherrytruitt says:

    Such beautiful work, and I love it even more after seeing Kim's process.

    6 years ago

  • kimwestad

    kimwestad says:

    thanks so much everyone!

    6 years ago

  • nharburger

    nharburger says:

    Watching this video just made my day! Beautiful, beautiful work.

    6 years ago

  • dkoss2

    dkoss2 says:

    what a wonderful process and beautiful work! such an inspiration!

    6 years ago

  • niTeBecOmEsdAy

    niTeBecOmEsdAy says:

    i love the simplicity of the work. so beautiful!

    6 years ago

  • iomiss

    iomiss says:

    It's wonderful watching Kim making her beatiful work!

    6 years ago

  • bellabijoujewellery

    bellabijoujewellery says:

    I loved watching that! Very inspiring!

    6 years ago

  • Moosemom

    Moosemom says:

    That was interesting and informative. Was nice to watch your process from start to finish. Nice work.

    6 years ago

  • kwestad

    kwestad says:

    My beautiful sister doing exactly what she was meant to do, create beautiful art. This video brought tears to my eyes because I never make the time to see what wonderful things you are doing. You are so very talented and I'm so proud to be your sister. I loved listening to what your thinking process is as you create something. It was so soothing to listen to. This was an eye opening experience for me to watch in many ways so thank you for sending it to me. I am truly amazed at what you do.

    6 years ago

  • Ornamentii

    Ornamentii says:

    I used to do pottery many moons ago, and it was a medium I loved, but never considered as a career. I always had to hand-knead my clay....a process I hated, so it was interesting to see the pug mill in action. I really love the white porcelain fruit bowl and flutter pieces. Congrats on your success.....cheers!!!

    6 years ago

  • shoshonasnow

    shoshonasnow says:

    Good stuff Kim! Congrats on the feature!

    6 years ago

  • mrYen

    mrYen says:

    I love the sweet peas and how every one will be slightly different, also i love the minimal use of colour against the white.

    6 years ago

  • PollyPainting

    PollyPainting says:

    This is a wonderful video! Kim is so articulate about her process. I'm passing this on to my teacher husband so he can share it with his ceramic students.

    6 years ago

  • hakalah

    hakalah says:

    Bravo to the Bronx-girl! Clean, well-lit and surely animated. I thoroughly enjoyed this peek into this Process.

    6 years ago

  • waxandwool

    waxandwool says:

    Such a wonderful thing to watch, I love the part when you talk about the physicality of the process, the hands, the sound of the wheel, the splatter of the clay - hooray for hand made!

    6 years ago

  • cupcakeperfumery

    cupcakeperfumery says:

    beautiful work :)

    6 years ago

  • riskodesign

    riskodesign says:

    Very nice work, and great video.

    6 years ago

  • SparrowsNest1

    SparrowsNest1 says:

    I LOVE your work!!!

    6 years ago

  • myJellyBean

    myJellyBean says:

    Love your work!!! Can go with any decor, in any room of your home.

    6 years ago

  • BeadingPrincess

    BeadingPrincess says:

    I enjoyed watching you create a beautiful piece. Great video.

    6 years ago

  • isler

    isler says:

    Well Done! Bravo!

    6 years ago

  • amyquerin

    amyquerin says:

    GREAT!!!!!

    6 years ago

  • Jewelryjeans

    Jewelryjeans says:

    Awesome craftsmanship and ingenuity...LOVE that the items are just white in substance with a touch of color...purity at its best. The pendants are most definately interesting...

    6 years ago

  • NicoleMarieHandbags

    NicoleMarieHandbags says:

    I didn't want that video to end, it looks like so much fun!!

    6 years ago

  • gramsheart

    gramsheart says:

    I love to watch you. I've always wanted to work on a wheel. I took a class, once, but they didn't do the wheel, so I didn't go back. I would like to try it again. Thanks for showing us your love of clay...

    6 years ago

  • ceramiclady

    ceramiclady says:

    Your handmades cups and items are very nice . Good sells. Iam making cermic ,chine plates. Bye...

    6 years ago

  • SoigneAtelier

    SoigneAtelier says:

    It is so relaxing just by watching it. Great work!!!!

    6 years ago

  • slumptown

    slumptown says:

    When someone has really connected with their media it really shows. Great work and thanks for letting us watch.

    6 years ago

  • IraRott

    IraRott says:

    Oh Kim, your work is absolutely gorgeous! You are so talented and creative! Thanks for you video, just enjoyed it!

    5 years ago

  • AiClay

    AiClay says:

    this is my favourite inspiration video ever, and I can just keep on watching you turn on the wheel. I'm also so tempted to get something from your shop! :)

    5 years ago

  • sewcosmic

    sewcosmic says:

    I really enjoyed seeing this video. Kim makes it look so easy. Beautiful work!!

    5 years ago

  • larkpottery

    larkpottery says:

    Dear Kim, Thank you for sharing your love of pottery. You are welcome to visit my studio anytime.Lark

    4 years ago

  • thisisblaise

    thisisblaise says:

    i love seeing new york based ceramic artists! i used to make pottery many years ago and i miss it sometimes. that video allowed me to live vicariously through you for a minute. great work!

    3 years ago

  • PaigeHeatherBoutique

    PaigeHeatherBoutique says:

    Your work is truly inspiring... The video was amazing, and so neat watching your process. Keep up the incredible work!

    3 years ago

  • dorothydomingo

    dorothydomingo says:

    I love watching other potters throw! And so true - you can't rescue a bad pot with good glazing! Such beautiful work!

    3 years ago

  • HeirloomOrphanage

    HeirloomOrphanage says:

    Just the cup of soothing process that the day needed! Thanks for such a fantastic video. Loved hear her voice while watching the process -- it was just a fantastic moment of calm in a world awash with turmoil.

    3 years ago

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush says:

    Cute!! Love the video!

    3 years ago

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage says:

    Beautiful work! Great story! Congrats!

    3 years ago

  • bsasik

    bsasik says:

    Creative and stylish. Thanks for the story

    3 years ago

  • SkateBetty

    SkateBetty says:

    Kim rules!

    3 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Cool work!

    3 years ago

  • earthtoartceramics

    earthtoartceramics says:

    I've been admiring Kim's work for a few years now. Inspiring.

    3 years ago

  • OakleyCraftworks

    OakleyCraftworks says:

    Beautiful, Kim! I loved watching you work. Thank you for letting us come into your studio with this nicely done video!

    3 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie says:

    Such beautiful work. It was so peaceful and calming to watch you at that wheel. =)

    3 years ago

  • BowMoBBB

    BowMoBBB says:

    These are beautiful. I love the different colors inside each one that make them take on their own personalizty. You are absolutely right. I feel that every time I create something, the next one seems to be better and more elegant looking. It's very rewarding.

    3 years ago

  • earthtoartceramics

    earthtoartceramics says:

    The sound on this viedo and some others that I have listened to from Etsy are broken up and intermittent . What is wrong with this?

    3 years ago

  • ACupOfSparkle

    ACupOfSparkle says:

    Such an awesome work! Congratulations...

    3 years ago

  • laurastark

    laurastark says:

    Great video. I love to look into the process of how things are made. Thanks for sharing.

    3 years ago

  • IrenDesigns

    IrenDesigns says:

    Is just awesome! You are so talented. Love your work!

    3 years ago

  • tarikyousef

    tarikyousef says:

    beautiful work. I love it

    3 years ago

  • fieldandsea

    fieldandsea says:

    So relaxing and mesmerizing to watch…made a lovely breather in my hectic day!

    3 years ago

  • shizendesigns

    shizendesigns says:

    I love this film. It makes me want to go to my bench and work. Be alone with metal and be in that meditative state of just focused on my work, nothing else.

    3 years ago

  • TheBerryPress

    TheBerryPress says:

    Thanks so much for letting us see you work. You make it look so easy, and we all know it takes a lot of practice to make your pieces look so flawless.

    3 years ago

  • sparrowgrey

    sparrowgrey says:

    Really unique pieces; love to hear about the story behind them.

    3 years ago

  • unflappableproducts

    unflappableproducts says:

    Perfection-you are like a magician! Your work is stunning - this film realy drew me in-well done! Congrats on your success!

    3 years ago

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree says:

    Her work is beautiful! Love them so much! These would go beautifully in the macrame plant hangers I make! Thank you for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    I often feel that way about my work but sometimes though we can be our own hardest critics and you need to cut yourself some slack sometimes!

    3 years ago

  • TheMerchantMariner

    TheMerchantMariner says:

    I love love LOVE Kim's work, and own many of her pieces. I'm so happy to see her featured!

    3 years ago

  • mariliejacob

    mariliejacob says:

    It's a beautiful video, very inspiring!

    3 years ago

  • Perlinarosa

    Perlinarosa says:

    The simple soothing design of the ceramics is definitely appealing to any interior.

    3 years ago

  • AScentFromTheHeart

    AScentFromTheHeart says:

    Kim, Your work is beautiful!!! Just watching you create a bowl was mesmerizing, and so claming. Once again, absolutely beautiful work. You have been truly given a gift of talent! =)

    3 years ago

  • ShoeClipsOnly

    ShoeClipsOnly says:

    Your work is so pretty! I love the whirlwind bowl, how original! great article!

    3 years ago

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez says:

    Beautiful pottery and lovely story.

    3 years ago

  • handprintlady

    handprintlady says:

    your shop has been one of my favorites for YEARS! I love to see ceramists featured!

    3 years ago

  • locallibrary

    locallibrary says:

    This was so great to watch! You made it look so easy and I know it's not! Beautiful work.

    3 years ago

  • frogprincessdesigns

    frogprincessdesigns says:

    That was amazing to watch!

    3 years ago

  • AutumnLeavesJewelry

    AutumnLeavesJewelry says:

    Beautiful video to drink coffee with. Love seeing your process, thanks for sharing with everyone :-) (you make it look so easy...but I think it's probably not...)

    3 years ago

  • designsofartisan

    designsofartisan says:

    I was really amazed how you looked so calm while making the pot... It such a lovely video and we get to know you more... =)

    3 years ago