We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Bemus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sarah, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Most people outside of the ceramics world don’t realize the amount of thoughtful consideration and touch points that go into each piece. When customers ask me to make them a mug or a set of bowls, there are many details to take into account besides just size – handle shape, lip, wall thickness, diameter, curve. Every feature has a purpose.

No matter how long you’ve been working with clay, it always feels like an act of God when a finished piece comes out of the kiln without any flaws, cracks or glaze mishaps because there are so many steps along the way where it could’ve been damaged or the design ruined. Ceramics is truly a labor of love.

Opening the kiln and pulling out all of the newly glazed pieces is so exciting or (hopefully in rare cases) heartbreaking. This is the rush that keeps me motivated and excited for my next project.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was not an artist/creator from the start. I went the Business School route after completing my undergrad at Stanford University, which led me into a very left-brained world of analytics, strategy, data, finance and information systems. Ten years in and two young kids later, I hit a breaking point between work, family and personal happiness, so I left my job to reset and ultimately pivot into another career. However, during this period of newfound freedom and flexibility, I decided to dabble in my long-lost interest in ceramics, so I signed up for a wheel-throwing class at Saddleback Community College. I was hooked from the start. You know when people say that when you find something you love to do, you never work a day again in your life? Well, that’s what ceramics has become for me.

I’m new to the medium, so my artistic style is ever-evolving and the projects I take on allow me to work on to furthering my designs and techniques. Ideally, however, I would love to design and build small-batch tableware…. but that’s down the road.

To date, I’m most proud of my studio and the students, artists and teachers that are all such an integral part of it. The people are what make it a special place to create, learn and share art together.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
San Diego for the weekend – Friday night drinks at Fairweather, dinner at Lionfish. We would spend Saturday at Liberty Station and if possible, go to a Padres game that evening. Sunday we’d catch the ferry over to Coronado to have brunch at the Del and shop at the cute boutiques. Sunday afternoon in Little Italy, James Coffee, and Ironside for the chowder fries. On the way North to San Clemente, we would make a stop at Rising Co. to shop a bit and have some coffee at Seaborne. Then we’d stay at my house in San Clemente for a few days to surf at San Onofre, visit with friends, walk the beach trail, and eat at MRK Public, Sol Agave, breakfast burritos as The Grill, drinks at Pierside. And of course we’d stop by my studio for a tour.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost my husband, Corin, and my Mother, Niki. They are my greatest supporters and I couldn’t have built this studio and followed my dream without their love and encouragement. I’m also incredibly thankful for the folks at Saddleback Community College for all the advice and pottery knowledge – Laura Haight, Bobby Free, Kathryn Stovall Dennis. Kathryn teaches classes at my studio and has been an invaluable mentor to me in owning and running a public studio.

Website: Www.thehiveceramics.com

Instagram: @thehive_ceramics

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHiveCeramics

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.