We sat down *virtually* with the creator behind La Casa de Pinos, Tiffany to discuss origins, handbuilding, and being a new mom.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! What do you love to do?
Hi I'm Tiffany. I'm a wife, mother, and ceramicist. I live in Richmond, VA which I absolutely love and enjoy spending time with family, trying new recipes, reading and travel. And of course, playing in clay not only keeps me grounded but brings an immense level of joy.
How did you create La Casa De Pinos? Where did the name come from?
It happened very organically. I took evening wheel throwing classes at a local community studio and it was very much love at first sight if you believe in that sort of thing. But the wheel looks a lot easier than it is. I realized I wanted to keep at it but the limited open studio hours didn't afford me a lot of practice time. So quite naturally… in very Tiffany fashion… I set up a work space in my walk-in closet, complete with a secondhand wheel, and shower curtains to keep things from getting clay-splattered. I was making so much work that I quickly outgrew the space, moved into a commercial space, and eventually into a converted studio in my backyard. My work looked a lot different back then and it is ever evolving. I love ceramics as a medium because it is slow and methodical. There is no instant gratification and the process is both exciting and humbling. Everything can go so right… or so very wrong.
Now that you know my origin story... the name of my ceramic practice is a play on both my beginnings and surname. My work was (and still is) created in my house. My husband is of Spanish heritage and he helped me come up with the name.
Can you say a bit about your ceramics process?
I make everything by hand and fire to mid-fire temps in my home studio. Most of my work is made on the potter's wheel and sometimes I handbuild which gives you a lot of control but less uniformity. I'll spend weeks forming work, then it needs to dry before it is twice fired. It takes about two weeks from start to finish. But in ceramic studio, you will typically find work at all stages of the process.
I am always drawing new forms on scrap paper and then prototyping which is my favorite part. Ceramics is so versatile and it is really everywhere… the possibilities are limitless.
If you could have a tea or take a Boketto moment (a moment of daydreaming and of rest) with any person dead or alive who would it be? What kind of tea would you have?
I would have green tea with my grandmother, Zelma. She passed away a few months after I was born and when my dad talks about her, he always has a twinkle in his eye. I can tell he really thought the world if his mother and I wish I had the pleasure of knowing her.
What does a moment of rest, recharging, or nourishment look like for you?
I am a new mom. Transitioning into this new phase of life has been both very exciting and hard. Recharging for me now means naps in the middle of the day which is a little luxury that doesn’t come very often. I also like to get the Dutch oven out and cook a big pot of soup for my little family when I have the opportunity.
What's something you want people to know about you that I wouldn't think to ask.
I could eat scallion pancakes and maduros everyday and never get tired.
My sun is Pisces and I have to admit I am not very into astrology so I have no clue on the others!
Explore the beautiful La Casa de Pinos here.