It's no secret that I'm passionate about women owned businesses (that's why I'm proud to be a member of the Female Founder's Collective) so when Fatima approached me last year about starting her ceramic business I was so excited! From the moment I laid eyes on her beautiful ceramic wares I knew we had to create something together! Enter: the LUNA Celestial Jewelry Dish.
The LUNA jewelry dish is the perfect catch all for jewelry, keys and more! Celestial themes and glitz is at the core of every NOORNOIR design and this piece imbues those same qualities. I've been known to leave piles of jewelry all around the house and this jewelry dish is the perfect solution. Every pieces was handmade by Fatima herself and features 24K gold lustered details.
Keep reading to learn more about Fatima and fatima's clay.
Company Name/Artist Name:
My name is Fatima, and my business is called: fatima's clay.
So originally I was born and raised on the East Coast - NY born, and attended high school and college in the Northern VA/DC area. But as of the last few years I have been living in Riverside, California!
How did you learn your art?
Ceramics started for me as a hobby - and still is! I started by taking some GroupOn classes and just really enjoying them. I mentioned to my dad a couple times that I really enjoyed the experience, and he suggested I search if there was a nearby community college that I could take classes at. From there I took a few years of classes and just loved it! When I first started I would spend 4 hours commuting to my day job each day, and even after coming home at 8pm, I would go late to class to make sure I made it for the last part of the lesson. I just LOVED it, and any time I had some extra hours in the day, I would find myself back in the studio. Eventually I finished the classes, bought my own wheel and began working on my own at a local ceramic studio.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I love lines. Sounds strange, but I have always appreciated the simplicity of modern artwork and always notice lines. Even as a teen, I never was too colorful, I always preferred really simple things and neutral colors compared to my friends. I think my interest in simplicity may have been enhanced by an awesome Art History professor I had in college who forced us to look at what we liked about Art in general. When I got into working with ceramics, I had a lot of friends and family mention they didn't like the bulky look of typical ceramic wear. This inspired my mission to make thinner and more delicate pieces that they might like. My goal is to create objects focused around simplicity, and practicality with a sense of delicate-ness that typical ceramic-ware does not always have.
What inspired you to start your business?
The main source of encouragement was my awesome hype man and husband! He is always encouraging me to do things that I like to do, and it just took me forever to find something that I really loved! My friends and family also started asking me over time to make things for them, and they even offered to pay! But I think the final push was from other small business owners (like Noor) which helped me gain the confidence I needed to actually go through with starting the business. So thank you so much Noor!!
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What is your process for creating your pieces? What goes into it?
The process of creating a ceramic piece has 5 main steps:
wedging - Before beginning any clay object, the first step is to make sure the clay is ready to be used. Wedging is a process that is similar to kneading in cooking/baking but the intention is to push out any air bubbles that might be in the clay and make the clay easier to handle.
throwing - Once the wedged ball of clay is ready to use, it is placed in the middle of the wheel head and then centered on the spinning wheel head. From there it can be shaped into whatever form that is being made - cup, bowl, plate, etc.
trimming - Once the object is completed on the wheel, it is given some time to dry and then it can be trimmed and shaped into the desired look. If there is a handle that is to be added, it is also added on at this stage.
bisque firing - In this firing, the pieces are fired at around 1800°F and the clay is fully dried out of any water that is remaining in the clay.
glaze firing - Glazing is the process of applying a "color" to the object. This is the final step in the process which will bind the glaze to the object by firing it again at a higher temperature (up to 2300°F+). This will solidify the molecules of the clay and form a glass-like coating. Once the kiln is cooled down, your object is ready for use!
What is your favorite piece to make and why?
Such a difficult question! I think my favorite pieces to make are bowls - there are so many possibilities of what bowls can hold and I just love thinking about the final product as I am creating the piece. I try to envision how it will be practical to the user in the final stage, and what people would prefer or would like to change about typical dishware. In this case, I have the option to fully customize it to work even better for the person who is using it.
What are your hopes/goals for your business?
My goal and hope for the business is to continue to make things that people find are practical, stylish and affordable. As of right now I love trying new things and having fun with it to see what pieces other people are enjoying or prefer. But as I grow I would like to move to a standardized set of objects that people can expect to find on the site at all times, with some rotating new styles here and there!
Just for fun, what is your go-to coffee order?
My favorite coffee drink of all time is a Cardamom Latte. Love the desi touch of cardamom!
Where can people see your work, shop your products?
You can shop pieces on my website: fatimasclay.com and check out my Instagram page @fatimasclay!
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