We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Schaperow and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I decided it was time to have my own studio space. I had previous experience as a ceramic technician and as a teacher so it was natural for me to hold classes. As an artist is it important to me to have a clean and organized space to create. I loved the Liberty Station area and it seemed like a wonderful bike commute from my apartment 5 miles away. I’ve always loved how welcoming the clay community has been and I wanted others to have the opportunity to be a part of a small and welcoming pottery studio. It has been almost exactly one year since I opened Milk Oolong Studio and I still am so happy that it exists now.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It is always exciting to see new work pulled from the treasure chest that is the kiln. It’s not always easy to think of amazing ideas all the time. My students inspire me and push me to find new ideas and inspiration. I’ve learned just how much you need to love the material you are working with. I gravitate to bright white or dark rich clay bodies. I’ve recently started on a new collection of jewelry. I used to create beaded jewelry when I was growing up and now I’m excited to see what I can create with clay! Ceramics has been my favorite medium because it encompasses everything so many things I love: drawing, painting, sculpting, carving, and of course the pottery wheel. It’s sometimes difficult to keep everything together, when running a small business you need to be everything. I am the ceramic tech, the marketer, the maker, the creative, the teacher, the organizer, etc…
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to Hazel & Jade in the morning for an almond croissant and a latte, which we would enjoy at Marston gardens. Afterward we would bike to the Japanese Friendship Gardens. Continuing on to Liberty Station with a walk by the water checking out the artist studios. Have a drink/picnic under a tree in the plazas. On the way home we would stop at Donna Jean in Bankers Hill for Pizza outside in their garden.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Rekindle pottery and Get Centered are two wonderful yet different pottery studios. These studios are examples of the wonderful community in the ceramic art world.