Meet Karen Fiorino, Karen specializes in making Maiolica glazed pottery. It’s whimsical and colorful and she enjoys using all the colors of the rainbow to make her work. She also loves the idea of creating beautiful objects that can bring joy and happiness to people when they use them every day.
I tell you, I’m lovin the frog dish, very whimsical! (:
Karen finds inspiration for some of her pottery pieces from her many pets; 2 dogs-a Border Collie/Terrier mix and a German Sheppard mix—I use these guys and my past dogs as inspiration for my avatar and logo designs. We also have 2 cats, a black and white tuxedo and a white and grey tabby mix. In addition her son has raised 16 hens (all have names) that provide them with breakfast every morning. I can relate to that, I currently have 13 chickens that all have names as well. Karen also loves her husband’s homemade pizza (yum, I love pizza) and one of her favorite colors are purple (closer to blue-violet).
So Karen do you have a day job? I don’t have a regular day job. I decided 11 years ago to run my pottery endeavors like a business and so I usually spend at least 2-4 hours or more every day in my studio or doing paperwork. Working at home did let me take care of my son who is now 11 years old. I also teach art at my son’s school 2 classes in the school year along with teaching cardio/weight training at the local gym. I am a certified Group fitness trainer as well.
I chose the name Clay Lick Creek Pottery because Clay Lick is the name of the creek that flows through our property. Funny thing is, when we bought the land, I wasn’t making pottery yet. There is a clay deposit in the creek and I have used it at times to make slips to use on my pieces. It does fire to a peachy orange at my firing temperature.
What has been your most challenging project? And how did it turn out?
One of my most challenging projects was shower wall tile project. It was challenging to me because I could not get a read on what the client exactly wanted. Usually when I talk about a project with someone, I can get a mental picture of what they want and usually it is the right idea, like I can read their minds. But this gentleman was all over the place. Fortunately, when it was all finished he was pleased with the result. At some point, I latched on his enjoyment of salamanders/lizards he was seeing all over while working on his house —his shower stall now has a 1 foot wide band that surrounds the whole shower of lizards climbing all over rocks which resemble the stone work of his fireplace.
Have you ever had a project that didn’t turn out well? If so, how did you fix it?
One project I was commissioned to do was for a client who had bought many pieces from me. She wanted a cake stand that was decorated in my very ornate and time consuming designs. Of course, I need to make multiples for insurance reasons making sure I have a successful result. Each time, something went wrong—the piece cracking in the bisque, the piece cracking in the glaze firing and on and on. Finally, (and she had even paid me a deposit) I decided to just give her money her money back and say I just couldn’t do it—Luckily, she was understanding and instead of the money picked out a couple mugs in lieu of the cash.
What do you do for fun when you aren’t crafting?
Recently, I have started running. Last year I ran in a 5K (which was a New Year’s resolution) and this year I competed in a 10K (this year’s resolution) I enjoy the running because at a certain point I start thinking of ideas and I do work out various problems I may have.
I also participate in a Murder Mystery fundraiser for my son’s school, the Carbondale New School. This will be my 6th year and I have caught the acting bug! So much so, that it did lead me into a lead part in a locally produced historical film Under These Same Stars: The Celadon Affair—
What do you like the most about your crafting?
What I like most is that I run a successful business for myself and I have the flexibility to work when I want, where I want and how hard I want as well as wear what I want (it’s all about comfort zones).
What do you like the least about your crafting?
It’s at home and sometimes I do feel isolated because I’m at home without any other interactions. That said, it is getting better because I am using facebook and belonging to the Etsy Mud Team has given me a social and a virtual outlet to meet and interact with people.
How do you promote your business?
It seems that there is a lot of word of mouth about my business. I’ve been at it for about 10 years now and just recently am using the internet to get the word out. I have met many people and many people have purchased my work at Art Fairs and I know that my work is in homes all around the world at this point.
Where would you like to see yourself in the next 5 years?
I would like to see more online sales so that I would not have to travel as much anymore—even though I do enjoy going out and talking with people at the Shows.
You can find and or contact Karen via her website or her Etsy Shop where she has a beautiful collection of her pottery. Be sure to check out the slide show below to see just a few of her hand crafted creations. Thank you Karen for sharing your world with all of us and I wish you all the best in all of your future endeavors!
I hope to see your name in lights on Broadway or your lovely face up on the silver screen some day! (: Good Luck girl!
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Cheers my ♥‘s