Welcome to my very first (and hopefully first of many), “Meet the Makers” interview. I had the pleasure of meeting Krisa Verbitsky, creator of “Stoneware by Krisa” (www.StonewarebyKrisa) and also a featured business here on buylocallyCT.com. It was really nice to be able to see where Krisa works her magic in creating such high quality, beautiful, everyday stoneware. Krisa has always been pretty creative though; taking pottery classes at the age of 14 and even now in her current career as a graphic designer. She loves looking at things from the design stand point instead of the functionality of it and her inspiration literally comes from anything, anywhere.
Krisa has a wide variety of the things she makes, such as cozy mugs and cups, bowls, dessert tray’s, vases and even water pitchers that can all be personalized with your initials if you wanted. It’s all made right in Krisa’s basement, a perfect sized space to hold classes as well. What I didn’t know and probably most of us that don’t work with clay don’t know, is the long process involved in making these pieces. There’s actually different parts of this process that Krisa was nice enough to take me through. To start, you have to get the right amount/size of clay you need for your project, then you can place it on the correct size sheet, (a circular like sheet that goes on the wheel), then the fun part begins – you can start molding and shaping your clay any way you want it while adding some water every once in awhile to make it take form a little more easily. After you’re happy with the way your piece came out, you carefully cut across the bottom with a wire and remove it from the wheel to let it dry to what’s called a leathery hard stage. After it dries a bit, you then put a trim on it, (which is a bottom for it to stand up on) and a handle if making a mug. You let it dry completely, check it for any air bubbles and then put it in the kiln for 8 hours. After it’s done from the kiln, you can then glaze it to whatever color you want and then in for another 8 hours. Krisa said it usually takes about a month for one set of pottery to get done, because of the different stages it goes through. I was amazed at how much time went into it. Krisa didn’t seemed to mind, she loves making pottery and seeing others enjoy it daily.
For most of us that are not familiar with the different types of clay, it really does make a difference what type you use. Krisa only uses between high and low fired clay, which is more durable and of higher quality. You can put her pieces in the microwave or dish washer as many times as you want for the rest of your life and it won’t ever crack. Where a lot of other pottery pieces in stores will be ruined after a few months in the dish washer. So you can feel good about what you’re buying and that it will last. Krisa also recycles all of the clay and reconstitutes it, (soaks it in water), so nothing ever gets wasted.
Krisa’s goals for the near future and her stoneware is to open up her own shop and have a pottery school in Trumbull. She would love to have a co-op so she can offer pottery classes and sell her own pottery, as well as have other artists come in and sell their art and teach their own classes as well. A place where you can have a birthday party or jewelry party or even a cake decorating class/party. Krisa would also like to try making some new things such as dog bowls that are personalized, some Halloween ornaments and motifs, as well as Christmas ornaments, so be sure to stay on the look out for those. I’ll blog about it and post pictures when they’re ready!
If you would like to take some private classes with Krisa, you can contact her any time. Currently there is room for 2 adults at a time or 4 kids at a time. Her private classes are becoming more and more popular, so be sure to get scheduled in. To give you an idea for kids ages – for ages 5 thru 11, this is great for an introduction to handbuilding and will receive a brand new tool kit for class and is also a good time for the kids to make ornaments. For ages 12 to 17, you can start to use the wheel and make a variety of bigger pieces. And for ages 18 and above there are private classes and an introduction to the Potter’s Wheel. So definitely contact Krisa at Krisa@StonewarebyKrisa.com to find out more information. You can also check out her featured page on the website here – http://www.buylocallyct.com/stoneware-by-krisa/. Krisa’s website is www.StonewarebyKrisa.com and look under “Take a Class” for more information.
Krisa will be selling her stoneware at Tashua’s Apple Festival on October 6th and 7th at 5170 Madison Avenue, Trumbull, (Please visit her website for more information). Stoneware by Krisa will also be setting up shop at the Stamford Holiday Happenings from November 1st to the 4th . This is a great opportunity to see and purchase some of her pieces as well as meet Krisa in person. I’ve also posted a lot of her new pieces here for you to see as well.
If you’re a business in Connecticut that makes your own products and would like to do a “Meet the Maker” interview for consumers to get to know you and your business better or to join our site and cause in getting people to buy locally, please contact me any time. Carissa Gulyas – carissa@buylocallyCT.com or 203-223-0127. Go to www.BuyLocallyCT.com for more information. Thank you!