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Whimsical Art for the Everyday: The Story of Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.

Bret and Natasha in their studio
Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.

Squeeze mugs, handmade paint palettes, and Christmas ornaments that look good enough to eat. The products at Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. are diverse, but there’s one consistent throughout all their products: everything from Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. acts as a functional piece of whimsical art.

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“I think we bring it out in each other.”

After meeting in a Seattle coffee house in 2013, Natasha Lawyer and Brett Bashaw started a life together, one of adventure. The two have a never-ending desire to discover new and exciting things as a couple. They’ve converted a 1978 VW Bus to a camper to tour Canada, slowly, as anyone who has ever driven a VW Bus will tell you. Natasha and Brett have also lived out of and refurbished a vintage airstream trailer. They also moved to an entirely new state where they started their business. Most recently, the pair moved to a fifties farmhouse in Nova Scotia, where they’ve been growing their business and line of products.

A Dynamic Duo

While the two were living in and renovating a vintage airstream trailer, Natasha started taking pottery and ceramic lessons at a local community center. As she was already a seasoned artist, she quickly amassed a collection. Since there was limited space within the airstream, Natasha decided to try to sell some on Instagram. They sold out in minutes. From there, they realized the opportunity and demand for whimsical ceramics. Brett also began taking ceramic classes so that the couple could create together. When they uprooted from Seattle to Vermont, they finally started Sugarhouse Co.

Handmade ceramic paint palette and supplies

Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.

Despite humble beginnings, the company flourished. “Natasha is the art director, in charge of the aesthetic, and I like to think of myself as the production manager.” Since then, the two have been working together to create as many pieces of practical art as possible. They continue to do so in gorgeous Nova Scotia, where their company has thrived.

Related: Meet Destiny Seymour: Anishinaabe Interior Designer and Founder of Indigo Arrows

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Art for the Sake of Art

When you hear the word ceramics, you usually think of mugs, vases, and maybe the odd bowl. Ceramics, however, is a medium of endless versatility. “Natasha is our best customer. I tell her, you know what you would like.” By simply asking what objects are integral to her life and how those mundane items can become something more, she has created functional products that add to the aesthetic of a space. This is how Natasha started making her hand-crafted ceramic paint palettes, which quickly became a fan favourite.

Related: 10 Beautiful Pieces of Indigenous Art and Décor to Shop for Your Home

 

Three Handmade Ceramic Mugs

Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.

First and Lasting Impressions

Relocating is always a challenge. Being in a new place where you don’t know anyone is daunting, but Natasha and Bret relish the experience. The pair dove right in when they landed in Nova Scotia, building up both Sugarhouse and their ties to the community. They’ve done this by building a connection with other local small businesses. One example is Bliss Caffeine Bar, which carries their Goldenrod Squeeze Mugs for some of its cozy fall drinks. “I get a good kick out of it, to look around and see people holding them.”

Related: This Pretty Pottery Will Make You Want to Show Off Your Dishware

 

Brett and Natasha in front of their pottery trailer

Sugarhouse Ceramic Co.

Where to Find Sugarhouse Ceramics Co.

Shop their website at Sugarhouse Ceramic Co. You can also find them on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

If you find yourself in Nova Scotia, keep an eye out for Natasha and Brett’s new pottery trailer, where they will be selling their products in person for the first time. You can also test drive some of their mugs with a pumpkin spice latte at Bliss Caffeine Bar in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photos courtesy of Sugarhouse Ceramics Co. 

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