Maker: Samantha Heligman
WHY DO YOU CALL AUSTIN HOME
I moved to Austin three and half years ago after visiting a dear friend a few times. I had moved back to Florida after college to get my massage therapy license, and figure out what my next move was. After visiting I just fell in love. Everyone was so nice, and seemed energized by all the creativity flowing in this city. It was hard to move away from a coast line, I will admit. I have always lived near water. Honestly the watering holes and springs are what make my heart sing most about this town. It’s just magical on the green belt.
FAVORITE SONG/ARTIST/ALBUM FOR A SPARK OF CREATIVITY
This can vary from day to day. I have this play list that I have created using sound hound. Its all my favorite song from KUTX 98.9. What would I do without that station, I mean seriously! My go to’s though typically range between Chance the Rapper and Drake to Andrew Bird and River Wyless.
HOW HAS THE AUSTIN COMMUNITY SUPPORTED YOU
Austin has supported me in so many ways, from the local shops and restaurants to events like EAST and CraftHer Market, that were born out of peoples love of our artistic community. People here just get it. Theres so much talk about “bringing jobs back to America” ,well the way you do that is by buying locally and supporting those artisans that are making quality goods. The Austin community does that!
I first met Samantha at craftHER Market and have been in love with her clay work ever since. Now I recognize her pieces around the city, stocked at Art for the People, Jack + Lola, Kettle & Brine and even cafes around town like Elizabeth Street!
Get to know this maker today on the blog + shop her creations here.
BIGGEST DEBATE OF ALL: COFFEE or TEA, BE SPECIFIC ;)
Coffee. Its the smell of it in the morning. I don't know it just says wake up to me. Plus I get to use my mugs so yeah.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW FOR INSTAGRAM INSPIRATION
Always Tortus . He pretty magical. I follow load of potters though. I also follow a lot of watercolor artists. Their palettes make me smile.
FAVORITE LOCAL FOOD TRUCK
Saigon Le Vendor! Super close to my studio and super flipping tasty.
FAVORITE LOCAL CURATED BOUTIQUE
Thats a toughy, because there are just so many! I love Apt. F. Its new and she carries my work, but also so many other beautiful things. You should check it out!
WHERE DO YOU CREATE BEST? EX: HOME, STUDIO, NATURE, ETC.
When it comes to clay the studio wins every time. When I paint I like to be at home.
WHY DID YOU CHOSE TO BE A MAKER
It wasn’t really a choice. As contrived as that may sound. This is what I am good at, this is what I am meant to do.
GO TO MID-DAY SNACK or ROUTINE FOR CREATIVE FUEL
I typically wont eat much while I’m working in the studio. I just get in my zone and forget about it , until I painfully starving and then I’ll just head on down to Saigon Le Vendor.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST EXCITING MOMENT SO FAR OF YOUR CRAFT
When I got my work into my first restaurant, Elizabeth Street Cafe, I flipped out. It was the first restaurant my friend took me to when I first came to visit. When they reached out for dinnerware, I got so dang excited I called my whole family and just squealed with joy.
AS A SMALL BUSINESS, HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT
I feel the work speaks for its self. My line is ever changing and evolving, but the work over all is cohesive, so the patron can continue to add to their collection and there is no disconnect. I have been working in clay for 10 years now. I know what I am good at making and I know what my customers respond to. I think its a combination of those things that makes it all work.
HOW HAS SOCIAL HELPED YOUR BUSINESS, IF ANY
Instagram has done wonders. It has boosted my confidence as well as my sales. Its just so cool to have customers come up to me at fairs and say I’ve followed you on Instagram forever and now I actually get to see the work!
WHO HAS HAD THE MOST CREATIVE INFLUENCE ON YOUR LIFE
My mom. She has always nurtured my creative spirit and for that I can never repay her.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS HAVE YOU LOVED COLLABORATING WITH
I love working with my Studio mate Eliana Bernard. She's a Slip Casting/ Mold Making Guru. She is one of the reasons I can be a zero waste studio, because she's willing to share her knowledge with me.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SHOPPING LOCAL TO YOU
I think is very important. If I am looking for something specific for my home I will first go to the pool of makers/ Sourcers I know in the community that I have gotten to know of the past 3 years. I will usually find some I like and feel good about my purchase. Just yesterday, I bought the most amazing vintage rug from Kate of Catalpa Shop. She has a way of finding the best things!
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS
Most of my designs have come from a need in my own home for a certain kind of vessel. I love to cook and eat. I like to fill my kitchen with items that reflect that love and care.
MUST-SEE RECOMMENDATION FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO AUSTIN
Get to the green belt if you can! And Enchanted Rock! and Lake Travis !!!
WHERE CAN SUPPORTERS FIND YOUR CREATIONS
You can find pretty much all my work on my Web-shop through my website www.SettleCeramics.com . I have also listed my stockists on my website as well.