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Emilia Hearn: The Founder of Muted Forms

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand. 

My name is Emilia, and I make functional ceramic objects under the moniker "muted forms." I work out of a cooperative pottery studio in Brookline, MA, and sometimes out of my home in Somerville. 

What inspired you to start your brand or craft?

I discovered pottery through a process of some trial and error after finishing graduate school. I tried a number of new hobbies to fill my newfound free time, and eventually signed up for a class at Feet of Clay in Brookline. I probably took a series of 10 classes or so, became a member, and continue to evolve in my craft. I'm inspired by colors, togetherness, nature, and movement.

How did you come up with the name of your company?

I dreamt up "muted forms" because I feel like it captures the simple, soft, modern-leaning, and sometimes playful nature of the pieces I create.

What does an average day look like? 

I typically think about creating in three-ish stages: wheel-throwing/handbuilding, trimming, and glazing. I find myself doing one/two of them in a day, as they can each be quite involved. Most of my pieces are first thrown on the wheel. Trimming is like giving the pot a shave once it's about the consistency of cheddar cheese -- cleaning up the rough / chunky parts, smoothing out edges, adding accents or handles, and finalizing its form before it goes into the kiln for a first round of firing. Once the pieces go through a first round in the kiln, they get a dip in the glaze bucket, and you cross your heart that they make it through the glaze kiln unscathed. The pots need to rest in between stages to dry out or get fired, so it takes awhile to get a piece from start to finish.

What’s your favorite part of the job?

Throwing! It is beyond cool to feel the transformation from a ball of clay into something more tangible; it's a near meditative process once you get into a groove. I'm often less heartbroken if I mess something up in this stage compared to later on in the game. Also, positive feedback from folks about my work is always beyond encouraging and affirming!

When you’re creating do you have a person in mind?

Someone who may need to slow down a little. 

When was your business founded and how has it evolved over time? 

I started selling my work at local craft fairs and shows in 2019. It's always a work in progress- figuring out new things to make, staying motivated, putting work out into the world, etc.

Are there any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?

The fail/imperfection rate in pottery can be fairly high, so things like glaze runs, issues with kiln temperature, warping, etc can be frustrating. Getting consistent in throwing multiple similar pieces (i.e. mugs, vases) is also I'm still growing this project , and I am positive there will be more challenges along the way. I work full time outside of muted forms, so balancing time and 

What is one piece of advice you have for a female entrepreneur just starting out?

Be gentle to yourself.

Let us know where we can follow you. Feel free to share any news on upcoming projects. 

Instagram (@mutedforms) is my main venue ! I have an etsy page as well (https://www.etsy.com/shop/MutedForms), but unfortunately rarely find myself updating it. My (ongoing, slow progressing...) goal is to be more consistent with markets and etsy updates.

 


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