When it comes to coffee, much of the focus (and rightly so) is on the drink itself. And while I love exploring the world of specialty coffee, this post goes in an entirely different direction.
I was recently introduced to Kayt Andersen, who is the visionary behind Kayt’s Pottery, here in Calgary. She is making some gorgeous stuff, and so I had to reach out to get my hands on some. We connected up this month so I could look at some of her pieces, and I got the chance to ask a few questions to learn a little bit more about her journey into pottery.
Q: So who is Kaytlin Andersen? Where are you from?
I grew up on an acreage just outside of Stettler, Alberta. I moved to Calgary a few years ago to be closer to the mountains, because I love hiking and being in the outdoors. I currently work at the Foothills Hospital as a Physiotherapy Assistant. My parents still live on the acreage I grew up on, and that is where the pottery studio is located! I love making treks back there as often as I can to create new pieces.
Tell us a little more about this history of Kayt’s Pottery. How did you get into this?
I had never even thought about trying pottery until about 3 years ago. Out of the blue my mom said she was turning the old Ostrich Barn on the family acreage into a pottery studio! They poured some concrete, painted the walls and it turned into the perfect little studio out in the country. I love it there.
I had no idea up to that point that my mom had even done pottery in the past, but apparently she had taken a few classes way back when she was pregnant. So she bought a second hand Kiln, a couple of pottery wheels, and all the tools and glazes. From the very first time I sat behind the pottery wheel, I knew I loved it! To this day I still have not taken any formal classes in pottery. I’ve been learning much from my mom, the occasional YouTube video, and many many hours of experimentation on the wheel.
When I think of the perfect mug, it has to be big enough, not too heavy, have a good “lip feel”, have a comfortable handle, and of course be attractive. Getting all of these elements right has taken me quite a bit of practice. It has only really “clicked” for me in the past year. I’m finally making things I’m proud of. And I can’t wait to showcase them to people.
Tell the readers of thebloom.coffee about some of your recent accomplishments, or any other fun-facts/announcements.
Since getting hooked on pottery I have been making the 2.5 hour drive almost every other weekend back up to Stettler. It’s truly rewarding to drink coffee from a vessel you made with your own two hands from a single lump of clay! I make mostly mugs and wine cups but I have begun experimenting with birdhouses, coffee pour-overs, and I made my very first teapot this year.
The most challenging for me is not the actual wheel throwing- it’s the glazing. The chemistry of it all is very complicated. Often I will glaze a piece and once it comes out of the kiln the colour is nothing like what I originally expected. There is a lot of trial and error involved, which is all a part of the fun. I usually have tunes blasting in the pottery barn and it’s not uncommon for me to be out there until the wee hours of the morning.
Q: Are you selling your pottery anywhere? Where can people find it or how can they get a hold of you?
So far I only post on Instagram: @kaytspottery
If people see something they like they can definitely message me. I occasionally do custom orders as well. I am building up enough inventory right now to hopefully do some farmers markets this summer!
I am so incredibly thankful to have gotten the chance to connect with Kayt. The blue/green mug in the above image set is now on my coffee shelf at home, and I must say that I love it! The picture doesn’t even do it justice. The feel of it is amazing, and its a great size. I’ve had the opportunity to use this mug for my morning trad-capp these past few days and its absolutely perfect.
Definitely if you get the chance, connect with Kayt on her instagram profile and see all of the great pieces she has created.