Clay Buddies: Cierra Bateman

Clay Buddies: Cierra Bateman

Meet Cierra, our Jigger Woman! The jigger is an incredible clay machine that allows us to provide you with all the bowls your heart desires. Cierra is one of our potters in charge of expertly throwing clay on the plaster mold, then trimming and tidying it into the elegant bowl that arrives at your door. If you own an East Fork bowl, chances are it has passed through this cool chick's hands. It's a lot of work and she is a master!

Side note: our glaze lead, Max says of Cierra, "Cierra really loves her pet cat, but she isn't annoying about it or anything. She's great. Cierra, not the cat. probably the cat too though." Such insight! I sat down with Cierra to do a short-and-sweet chat about her five favorite things. 


What do you do at East Fork?

At East Fork, I make bowls on the jigger!  We make 'em one day, trim and stamp 'em the next day, and occasionally load or unload a kiln.

Cool! Tell me about the objects you chose.

The quilt:  My Grandma T makes quilts.  She pieces and quilts them by hand.  She has a whole closet full of quilts that she's made, and one day she laid them all on the bed in a pile so that I could choose my favorite one.  I also make quilts. Quilting has such a rich tradition, but it is, unfortunately, a dying craft, so I hope to keep it going for at least one more generation.

The journal: I try to write every day.  I used to write so that I wouldn't forget the little details of my life, but now I write more as a meditation—writing helps me to organize my thoughts, feelings, and observations.  I like to bind my own journals. It feels more personal.

Wow, that is so cool about binding your own journals. How do you do it?

I like to make my journals out of materials I already have around the house. Usually, I use canvas board for the covers, but once I used the sides of a wooden fruit crate. I glue paper or cloth to the cover boards. The pages of the book are always blank (never lined), and I usually bind it all together with a coptic stitch technique that leaves the spine of the book exposed. 

Next, the crossword: I love crossword puzzles.  One of my favorite parts of my week is to do the crossword in the Mountain Xpress.  I always complete it in pen, but that doesn't mean I don't mess up the answers sometimes!  It feels like a great accomplishment to finish a puzzle by myself, but it's also fun to do the crossword with friends.

I am a crossword addict too. Do you ever google the answer?

I do my very best to fill out as much of the puzzle as possible before looking anything up. That being said, there are times when I get stuck on clues that I simply don't know (rather than that I just can't remember). In those cases, I like to think of Googling as learning, not cheating!

That seems fair! Ok, moving on. What's next?

The knitting: I always have a knitting project in progress (or two, or three...)  Yarn shops are heaven to me. I particularly enjoy knitting sweaters (which take me a very long time to make) and hats (which are much quicker projects). 

The print:  When I was a work/study at the John C. Campbell Folk School, a bunch of folks got together one evening and pressed cider from a neighbor's apples.  It was such a memorable experience. One of my friends commemorated the event by carving a cider pressing scene into a wood block, and then she gave a print to each of us.  The print reminds me of my time at the Folk School, which is a very special place to me.

Too sweet. Thanks Cierra! We love you!

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