The Etsy Blog

Featured Shop: Art & Manufacture handmade and vintage goods

My name is Edith from Art & Manufacture. I live in a house at the foot of Mount Orford in Magog, Quebec, Canada, and I make ceramics using the molding process. I do all of the production by myself, with a lot of support from my boyfriend and family.

My creative process begins by finding an old object with an attractive form. I make a plaster mold of the form and fill it with casting clay, letting it absorb the excess water until the piece has the right thickness. Next, I empty the excess liquid back to its bin. When the piece is dry, I shape, decorate, and fire it a first time. The last step is to apply glaze and fire one last time.

I think every craftsman who works with integrity, without creative limits, creates work that is a reflection of their soul. I am what’s unique about my business. My pieces are a projection of myself; they’re moody and imperfect. I create things that touch me and wait for someone else to be touched, too. It’s always incredible to see that happen. The way I make my pieces also makes them special – no two are identical.

I do what I do because I am a gourmet. I like to eat and drink while looking at a beautiful object, savoring the present moment. I also want to be present for my kids – working at home gives me more liberty to start my day whenever I decide, and to finish late if I need to. It’s the freedom of being autonomous that I like the most.

My creative business has given me a better quality of life, freedom, pride, and the happiness of waking up every morning with a smile. I am curious about details I never looked at before. Etsy for me is an open window to the world. I can exchange with people I don’t know, who have similar taste for certain things.

I think most Etsy shops practice conscious consumerism because there is practically no intermediary between producer and buyer. As a creator, I receive more for my work than if I sell it to a boutique. As a buyer, I know that the money I spend on an item will be directly going to its creator.

I try to apply this voluntary simplicity everywhere in my life. I always buy used clothes for myself and my children from vintage boutiques, and I love finding little treasures like a beautiful dress or ’70s jeans. I also have a small vegetable garden, so I buy less from the grocery store. I think we should all consider buying less and try to be more autonomous, especially when it comes to feeding ourselves. In the future, I would like to have a bigger garden, some hens, and perhaps even a personal windmill to produce electricity for firing my pieces.

Portrait photographs by Christophe Hubert, all other photographs by Art & Manufacture.

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