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Featured Shop: L&M Studio

May 27, 2013

by Lucie Piedra and Meg Oliver

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

We are Lucie Piedra and Meg Oliver, the makers behind L&M Studio. We met in 2001 as resident artists at the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony in Woodstock, New York. During the spring of 2011 we both had home studios and new puppies, so we started having work dates (which also doubled as puppy play dates). After Hurricane Irene flooded Lucie’s studio, we decided to join forces and found our storefront studio space in historic Catskill, New York.

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Before we decided to collaborate, I worked primarily with low-fire red earthenware, while Meg’s expertise was in high-fire, functional porcelain. We decided to meet in the middle (in terms of firing temperature) and create work through slip-casting, which neither of us had used before as a primary method of making. It is as if a third person has been created that makes things that are completely unrelated to our individual work.

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For L&M Studio, we design and make models out of clay, then create a mold of that piece in plaster. When the molds are dry, we fill them with slip (liquid clay) allowing us to make multiples of the same piece. Once removed from the molds, each piece is hand-cut and dried, then sandpapered-clean of any lines from the mold. Next, the piece is bisque-fired, glazed, then fired one last time to 2232?.

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Teamwork is the basis of our business, and we have found that it has also become fundamental in our involvement with Etsy. Working with people who are working to expand their own spheres (as well as ours) is just amazing. We can only hope to give back a little of what we have received in support.

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Etsy transcends a community and it transcends a marketplace. It has allowed us the freedom to create a business from scratch with almost no capital. As we invented each item in our line, we could list it and receive immediate feedback. Because of our presence on Etsy, we have gained world wide exposure and press. As a brand-new business, this is priceless.

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We both have a deep-seated desire to be creative and the act of making satisfies that need. Since we are always learning and growing, the new piece is where old questions get resolved and new questions arise. We both feel that if we ever made that elusive, perfect piece, the need to keep making would be lost. Luckily, each new piece always creates the space for new questions to arise.

Studio and maker photographs by Annick Magac and Amber Hawkinson. Product photos by L&M Studio.

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