Hi Nick, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
The Bright Angle is a designer-maker collaborative pottery studio formed in Asheville, North Carolina in 2016. I studied art and design at Alfred University and worked to build relationships with local potters during my formative years. This collaborative working studio is a product of those relationships between artists.
Have you always been an artist/maker and how did you turn this into a career?
I took my first ceramics class as a freshman at Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up in an area with an incredible array of artists, which helped foster my appreciation for ceramics. I studied ceramics and engineering at Alfred University and I moved to Asheville, North Carolina in 2012 to embark on a 3-year artist residency at Odyssey Clayworks to develop my creative practice. During that time I was creating a line of pottery, traveling to craft shows, selling my work and learning how to run a business. The idea of a collaborative ceramic design studio was on my mind and in 2016 I launched The Bright Angle.
Describe your style as an artist and the medium do you use.
We work with porcelain. We love to make well-designed home goods, from mugs to lighting to a killer coffee pourover setup with porcelain, wood and glass components. Our designs stand out from others because they are designed with the utmost attention to detail and utility. Our pieces are mountain-modern, bringing a refreshing perspective to a long lineage of craft in western North Carolina.
Where do you find inspiration?
We are inspired by community and thoughtful daily rituals. Whether drinking coffee alone or sharing a meal with friends and family from handmade goods encourages us to embrace a fruitful lifestyle. We are inspired by conversation and connection, by good habits and me-time.
What’s a typical workday for you and what is your process?
The Bright Angle is working to bridge the gap between design and craft by focusing on home goods that are American Made. We begin our creative process by sketching or sculpting prototypes. In order to ensure that we are able to see the smartest design come to fruition, we transfer the sketch to a computer aided modeling system. We use 3D prototyping and mold systems to create efficient production that is executed by a highly skilled team of makers. Once we have a model we are satisfied with, we scale it up to account for the shrinkage of the porcelain. Next, we pour plaster around the model to create a mold. This mold is filled with liquid porcelain to recreate the object. We refine the porcelain object using hand tools and cover the object in our soft satin glaze and fire it in a kiln to 2200F. Once it is fired we sand the bottoms smooth.
We make everything from scratch by formulating our own porcelain and glazes to be durable and unique. The Bright Angle sources our wood, glass, and other material components in collaborations with local craftspeople that share our commitment to American-made and thoughtfully sourced raw goods. We believe that good design is a marriage of concept, process, material and utility.
What are a few of your favorite artists? Musicians? People that inspire you?
Bela Fleck, because he is a master of his craft. Music is my favorite inspiration.
Where can we see your art?
Our work is available on our website at www.thebrightangle.com. We love sharing our process and products through our Instagram @thebrightangle and Facebook (www.facebook.com/thebrightangle) pages as well.
What's next for you?
We are planning to open a brick-and-mortar shop in the future to be able to put the physical objects in a place where they can be held.