Anna Eaves ~ Arrow + Sage
“You know, I’ve been creating and making art my whole life, and working with clay is just different. I see all of my finished work as art. Each is unique, each is entirely created by hand. But, they’re also functional pieces that I can hold in my hands. It’s like a crossover from art to craft/product and I love that.”
I had been looking forward to working with Anna for a long time! I was so excited to photograph her work and getting the chance to talk with her more about Arrow + Sage. Deborah, (Anna’s mom and my dear friend) came with me to Raleigh on our little adventure. (Mostly because I love her and I thought it would be so fun for her to come and hang out with us!) JoJo, Anna’s little Pittie friend, greeted us at the door and as we said hello, Anna came bouncing down the stairs, saying that she had no idea what to wear! (Silly girl; She looks gorgeous in ANYTHING.)
Up in the studio, there’s a closet full of glazes, shelves of drying pottery; Soft light from the window was filtering through the plants hanging in the corner, casting tiny shadows across Anna’s “inspiration wall” at her worktable.This week, magazine cutouts and pages filled with fresh blue images graced the wall.
“What should I do? I have a few pieces that I could work with, if you want.” Anna picked up a mug and began attaching a bottom to it. Her hands were practiced, shaping the mug into what she envisioned it to be. She talked to us while she worked: ” My mom tried to get my interested in clay and ceramics several years ago. I sort of refused. Then finally one day, I finished a cream and sugar set that I’d been working on for uh… like, 8 months and had kept in a huge ziplock bag with wet paper towels. When I pulled it out of the kiln all glazed and blue and beautiful (I can’t believe it was actually a functional set of pieces!) I was so satisfied. It was the best feeling and I started wanting to make more stuff. Also, the clay feels good in my hands!”
Well, she is fantastic. She has taken the techniques that she has learned and created a pottery line totally unique to her. She’s shipping to all sorts of places, being featured in magazines and blogs and totally making a name for herself and Arrow + Sage. Instagram was and still is, her main source of advertising. She totally swears by it. “A few shops reached out to me via the web about carrying my work. Pine State Flowers in Durham was the first! Then Pigeonhole Home Store in Victoria, BC. I just said “yeah!” and it all happened from there.”
As with any small business, there have been some challenges along the way. “Mass producing one thing is hard for me. I get bored and tired. I try to test new glazes, or new shapes, or concepts in each glaze firing. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s so much better to open up my kiln with something I’ve never seen before. It keeps me interested and excited. And learning how to say “no”. Not just in my work, but in daily life. Saying “yes to things all the time will wear you out and suck the life out of you. There are definitely times to say “yes!” But also definitely times to say “no”. That being said, still the most fulfilling part is just being able to create consistently throughout the week. It brings me joy!”
This whole time, JoJo has been in and out of the studio, checking on Anna, seeing what all the activity was about. Anna said that JoJo will come check on her everyday, if shes been in the studio to long. She even has her own little bed in the corner of the room. Although, I think she prefers to be as close to Anna as possible. She’s also pretty photogenic too.
I asked Anna what her favorite piece of art that she has created is and if there was anyone that she aspired to be like: “I guess I’d have to say my Indigo Tide line, at least, so far. I feel like when I first made those and stumbled upon the reaction between those glazes, and got such a positive response, I felt like: “OK, I can do this. I do aspire to be like my mom. She just does so many cool things and all of them so well. She’s like a multi-faceted creative gem.” Anna is a gem as well. She is so full of life and inspiration and I am so blessed to call her a friend of mine!
So, where can you find her? arrowandsage.com or at her personal favorite, Instagram! @arrowandsage. Get on it, guys! Go check her out and order some of her amazing and unique art!