Experts estimate that functional pottery has been around since approximately 9000 to 10,000 BC. When asked about the pottery she creates, one of the first things Hannah Martin will tell you is that her work is functional. And while that is one important aspect of her work, the thing that catches the eye is the stunning beauty and depth of her work which she says is inspired by the majestic scenery of the Appalachian Mountains where she creates, and the farming journey she and her wife, Emilia Jones, aka Emi, embarked upon six years ago. In addition to farming, both knew that making pottery would be an integral part of the life they intended. Today, that journey has resulted in a studio called HeartMoss Pottery where they make functional and artistic pieces of pottery that they sell through craft fairs, the HeartMoss website (www.heartmosspottery.com), and sometimes at their local farmers market.
Hannah and Emi made their escape from an adventure-filled life in New York City to an adventure-filled life of a different sort in a little town called Independence in Virginia. Adventures may be more closely associated with their big city life, but they are just as often encountered on their four-acre slice of heaven in Grayson County located in rural Southwest Virginia. The pair wanted a simpler life, living off a small sustainable farm and their creative output, but as they got the farm up and running they found that from learning the ins and outs of rotating crops to having their chickens eat what they thought would be a year’s worth of wheat in a three-week period, that while they did indeed escape to a more beautiful life, it is no less filled with adventures than the city.
Hannah attended the US Naval Academy and earned a degree in English, and came away with a hefty background in mechanical engineering. One might think, what a shame, she’ll never use all that math and science knowledge being a potter; but one would be wrong. When Hannah finishes giving an introductory tutorial to pottery making, it is easy to see how all that math and science comes into play throughout the process. From calculating the rate of water evaporating from the clay, to figuring the measurements for glaze, to firing up the kiln, setting the correct temperature and timer to the exact amount of time needed, science and math goes into the art and design of each piece.
... inspired by the majestic scenery of the Appalachian Mountains, where she creates, and the farming journey she and her wife ... Emi, embarked upon six years ago ...