ARTIST INTERVIEW: Peaches
Artists: Julia Sherman and Thomas Sprott
Deeply inspired by their connection to the earth and its elements, Peaches invites us all to experience the natural world through the beauty of form and function. We’re delighted to share their work for the first time at the Echo Park Craft Fair this season.
Peaches is a multidisciplinary art, design, and mold making studio headed by Julia Sherman and Thomas Sprott. Peaches designs and creates highly thoughtful yet minimal objects that explore identity, self-expression, functionality, and color.
The Echo Park Craft Fair is celebrating our 10 year anniversary this Holiday, 2019. Can you speak to how long you’ve been doing the Fair and how the EPCF community has contributed to the evolution of your work and business?
This will be Peaches’ first year participating in Echo Park Craft Fair. We are so excited to join the community!
Please tell us about the current work you will featuring this Holiday and speak a bit to how you/your work as evolved over the last decade?
We’ll be showing work from our new collection, Velvet Vision, which combines performance, sculpture, and functional objects. The functional wares of the collection include high fired porcelain tableware and art objects, as well as low fired micaceous clay water jugs. Velvet Vision is inspired by the beauty of the natural world. We found our color guidance in the basin and range deserts of the inland West, and are greatly inspired by the textures of geological formations and how they absorb color and warmth from the sun and the sky. The forms of Velvet Vision are soft, timeless, minimal, and functional.
The ethics of production are on our minds a lot recently – questions of sustainability, fair labor, location, and artistic integrity. How do these concepts come into play in your craft and your business? What choices do you make that take into account these ideas?
Peaches is a small business whose work is exclusively designed and produced by Julia Sherman and Thomas Sprott in Eugene, Oregon. Peaches believes in the social and environmental impact that local production and distribution has on a community and the world. By sourcing materials in the United States and selling to locally-owned retailers, Peaches is cutting down their carbon footprint and encouraging members of their community to support small local businesses who are doing the same. We’re also in the midst of transitioning to entirely compostable packaging – a sourcing challenge, but well worth it!
Can you speak a bit to your process? What inspires your work? What techniques do you use to produce your designs? What is the history behind those techniques, and does that inform how you utilize them in your process?
The porcelain forms of our studio are produced though a labor intensive process called slip casting. We’re most inspired by the forms of the natural world, as well as the work of past folk ceramicists. After lots of sketches and drawing, we design the forms with technical drawings, then make a physical, to-scale production model. Next, we use the positive model to create a negative mold into which liquid clay or slip is poured.
Once the slip has been poured into the plaster mold the pores of the plaster begin to pull the moisture out of the clay slip. A wall thickness begins to form. Once a desired wall thickness is reached, the remaining slip is poured out of the mold, leaving the shell of a ceramic form inside of the mold.
Once the form is removed from the mold, it’s put onto the ceramic wheel to trim off pouring reservoir remnants and clean up parting lines. After a final sponging, we bisque fire the greenware to remove all of the moisture. The wares are then sanded to remove any remaining imperfections and to make the porcelain smooth as river rocks. We apply glaze to specific areas of the ceramic forms, often leaving the areas unglazed where hands can touch the smooth raw clay. Lastly the ceramic forms are glaze fired to cone 10, washed, re-sanded, and stamped with the Peaches insignia.
What is your underlying philosophy/core vision for your work? And what impact do you hope your creative work will have on your community?
The work of Peaches is a celebration of the natural world. We seek inspiration from the colors, textures, highlights, and shadows of our natural world. Through a wild love of the Earth, we hope to inspire our community to enjoy time outside, to love, touch, and care for our mother, and to cherish arts, craft, and culture as fundamental human expressions!