Throwing Clay…and a Giveaway!

One of my favorite girl’s nights is to drive 20 minutes down the road to my Aunt Tena’s pottery studio.


Although she teaches with kindness, patience, and a humility that might lead you to believe she simply does this for a hobby, Tena is quite famous in the pottery world.


Her beautiful dishes are used by the most exquisite of restaurants from here to London, have been featured in multiple national magazines, and even on Iron Chef America, when local chef Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club defeated Bobby Flay.

300 dpi tom

To be taught by the best – and have fun doing it?  A fantastical experience.

We had a great group of bloggers come to check out Tena’s studio, and we all looked really clean before we started.

(And somehow avoided the “after” shot all together.)

IMG_8014(Front, l-r: Maree, Laura Kate, Alicia, Jamie, Rhoda, Lora Lynn.  Back, l-r: Kelli, Beth, Krista, Katherine, Kim, Steph, Brandi, Amy, and myself.)

Another artist, Nabeel, was also on hand, offering one-on-one training to each of us.


Not to say that I’m an expert.  I spent most of my time trying to keep my clay on the wheel instead of on my elbows,


Cheating off of my neighbor’s work,


And trying to explain to everyone that kept asking me “how do I do this?” that I HAVE NO IDEA – this talent is clearly not genetic.


We spent our time divided between the potter’s wheels and making “pinch pots” by hand,  all of which will be fired and glazed and magically transformed into beautiful works of art.

But until that happens, here’s me and my somewhat second-grade looking art project:


Oh, its going to look fabulous when it comes out of the kiln…

Notice how everyone else’s pinch pot has texture and character and shape…


Perhaps it was because they were all laughing and talking and paying no attention to what they were doing…


Or perhaps it was just beginner’s luck.

Then again, they also all seemed to have better luck on the wheels than I,


Focusing on creating symmetry,


Perfectly shaped bowls,


Creative designs,


And – oh I’m getting a complex!!

At least Jamie was there, who also felt the need to shamefully hide her work.


But in the end, everyone ended up with beautiful creations that will be made even more fabulous by Tena’s glazes.


….and had a WHOLE lot of fun doing it.


We got to tour Tena’s warehouse,


and shop her “atypical” (and deeply discounted) area.


I bought two beautiful platters, and I’m still trying to find their atypicalnesses – they look perfect to me.

Tena also bestowed upon us gifts – a beautiful square dish created to be the perfect depth for an olive oil dipping sauce (or as I discovered later, a salad) – as well as one to give away to you (but I’ll get back to that).


The very next night, I used my two new platters, my gift dish, and three pieces of Tena’s pottery that I had previously purchased combined with a take-home meal from Nabeel’s, creating a perfectly Greek, perfectly local, perfectly beautiful meal for Chris and I.


(The colors of Tena’s plates make me so happy.)

Tena offers Girl’s Nights Out for $35 per person, and six week pottery lessons for $165.  The lessons meet weekly for two hours, plus all of the practice time that one desires.  And if you mention my blog, you get a $15 discount on the classes!

As I left Monday night, I was already ready for more, so I went ahead and booked a Girl’s Night – for which any of you local enough are welcome to join me!  It will be on Monday, October 22, from 6-8pm, and the cost is $35.  Everyone gets lessons and the opportunity to make some awesome pottery.  If you’d like to come, let me know as soon as you can (via comments or email – graspingforobjectivity at gmail dot com), because there are only 15 spots available, and 5 have already been claimed!

So now.  I know you’re all waiting for the giveaway –  right?

I brought home one of those fabulous plates for you.  Your plate is a deep olive with speckles of bright blue.  Isn’t it gorgeous??

Earthborn Studio Giveaway

If you’d like to win it, simply leave a comment below.  For extra entries, you may do one or all of the following:

Be sure to leave separate comments for each of your entries!  This giveaway will be open until Monday, September 10.  I will announce the winner Tuesday, September 11 on my Giveaway Winners Page.

Disclaimer: As mentioned, I was given a piece of pottery and the opportunity to go to this event.  Also, I suppose you could call me biased because Tena is my Aunt.  But did you SEE how beautiful her work is?  Who couldn’t be excited about that?!  That’s what I thought.  My opinions are always my own.

Leave your comment below!


  1. Beautiful work!

  2. I wish I lived closer so I could join you. Your Aunts work is so beautiful!

  3. I follow you on FB

  4. I liked Earthborn studios on FB

  5. Kerrie Mayans says:

    I would like to win!

  6. Kerrie Mayans says:

    I like you on facebook as kerrie mayans

  7. Its really hard to pick a favorite piece; but I really like thevanilla bean square plate

  8. I wish I was local enough to come and shop amongst the “atypical”. One of my favourite things about hand thrown pottery is that it’s all slightly different, and this stuff is gorgeous! Lucky you to have such a talented aunt. :) I think that my favourite would have to be one of her square bowls with the “lagoon” glaze.

  9. Oh – and I follow you on FB.

  10. I liked Earthborn Studios on FB. Cahaba Clayworks page doesn’t have a like button.

  11. This looks like so much fun! Love it! The finished products are gorgeous. I wish I could join you in October.

  12. I followed Earthborn Studios on twitter.

  13. Jennifer Paxton says:

    That looks awesome, especially in my house!

  14. Jennifer Paxton says:

    I follow you on FB too!

  15. Jennifer Paxton says:

    I am now following Earthborn Studios on Twitter.

  16. Jennifer Paxton says:

    I liked Cahaba Clayworks on FB :-)

  17. Jennifer Paxton says:

    Gotta go with the Alabama Mugs on her website. Roll Tide!

  18. Her work is indeed beautiful. I try to buy pottery pieces from local artists as much as I can and use them daily. It always makes my table look so pretty.

    However, I do want to point out that you probably don’t mean “infamous”. Infamous means being famous for being evil or bad, or for doing wrong. You mean just plain old “famous”. Or even well known and respected. :)

  19. Very cool! My mom is a potter and it is soooooo amazing to have one int he family. I have the best dishes and crockery… but can always use another to add to my collection!

  20. Love it!

  21. Follow you on facebook!

  22. I love the lagoon square bowl. So pretty!

  23. Ooh! I want to come to the girls’ night out, and to be in the drawing!

  24. I “like” Earthborn Studios on FB.

  25. I “like” Cahaba Clayworks on FB.

  26. I like you on FB and follow you on Twitter.

  27. Amanda Bosque says:

    I “like” Earthborn Studios on Facebook.

    And, I live like 2 minutes away from the studio! I always look at it and tell myself I need to check it out, but haven’t yet. I am going to plan a Girl’s Night Out there soon!

  28. Amanda Bosque says:

    I sent “Cahaba Clayworks” a friend request (there was no like button) on Facebook :)

  29. Amanda Bosque says:

    I think my favorite piece would have to be the free-form oval shaped Noodle Bowl – so unique!

  30. Amanda Bosque says:

    I already “like” you on Facebook and follow you on Twitter!

  31. I love pottery and that piece is beautiful! I would love to win it!

  32. And I already like you on FB

  33. This does sound like fun. I’m going to see if I can put something like this together. I know a lot of people who would have a great time!

  34. I follow on twitter

  35. I liked Earthborn Studios on FB

  36. I friend requested cahaba clayworks

  37. Beautiful platter! What is a platter by the way? We seem to serve out of pots and Tupperware around here. Thanks :)

  38. It was so hard to choose just one piece I love! They were all so beautiful! I think I would have to go with the square bowl in Lagoon. It’s so pretty!

  39. Wow! That looks like so much fun. I would love to take that class. I wish I lived closer!

  40. Heather Woosley says:

    Hey Rachel —

    Sign me up for the girls’ night. I’d love to give this a try — messy or not!

  41. I liked you on Facebook!

  42. I liked Earthborn Studios on Facebook!

  43. I really loved the extra large platter in Sky. The calypso blue is pretty too. How blessed you are to have such a talented auntie! I wish I was close enough to attend a class, it sounds like fun.

  44. I would love to win this. :) It looks very cool …

  45. Just followed Earthborn Studio on Twitter & Facebook.

  46. Just added Cahaba Clayworks on Facebook. :)

  47. Just tweeted about it as well –

  48. That looks like my idea of the ultimate girl’s night out- SO FUN! Oh how I wish I lived close enough to join you all! She makes some really beautiful pieces – my hubs only gives me a very short amount of time to spend in the pottery studios when we go to Gatlinburg because I have a love affair with all things pottery! I will certainly be entering this contest!

  49. Elizabeth says:

    I follow you on Facebook.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    I love the chef hammock. It is a unique piece.

  51. Courtney Fuller says:

    OMG! I love her stuff! I want a whole set. tell her we are Bffs and she should give me a HUGE discount :)

  52. Courtney Fuller says:

    I follow you on Facebook

  53. Courtney Fuller says:

    I follow you on twitter

  54. Courtney Fuller says:

    I liked her page

  55. Courtney Fuller says:

    I went to the website and I want a whole dinnerware set!

  56. Courtney Fuller says:

    I liked cahaba clay works

  57. Courtney Fuller says:

    I followed Earthborn on twitter

  58. Love that plate! Coming to girls’ night!

  59. Renee Richardson says:

    This looks like so much fun! Thanks for the wonderful giveaway :)

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  60. Renee Richardson says:

    I like Earthborn Studios, Inc. on Facebook
    Username: Fatty Bumpkins

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  61. Renee Richardson says:

    I really love Oval Porridge Bowl 5.5″ x 8″ | EBO2 Sierra. Thanks for the awesome giveaway :)

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  62. Renee Richardson says:

    I like Grasping for Objectivity in my Subjective Life on Facebook
    Username: Fatty Bumpkins

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  63. Gorgeous! I’d love to win!

  64. That sounds like such a fun girls’ night!

  65. I already “like” you on Facebook.

  66. I like you on Facebook.

  67. I Like Cahaba Clayworks on Facebook

  68. I Liked Earthborn Studios on Facebook.

  69. I followed Earthborn Studios on Twitter.

  70. Looks like such a fun time. I wish I was closer so that I could join you ladies.

  71. I once took a pottery class at the Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, and it was the hardest thing ever! I thought it would be a breeze, but my work looked like a kindergartener did it!!!

    I think your work was very professional (compared to mine!)

  72. Sometimes. . .shoot actually quite often, you make me wish that I lived up there by you rather than down here by the beach. This is one of those times! I’d love to be able to come up there and play. I actually took a whole semester of ceramics in college. . .I was terrible at it. But, I’d love to try again now that I’m a bit more focused. Anyway, I can’t wait to see your completed pieces!

  73. Diane Lewis says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE everything Tena creates. I only wish I lived close enough to take the classes. After seeing Earthborn pieces in a restaurant on the Mississippi coast I HAD to own those dishes. My husband and I drove all the way from Dallas to select a full set of dishes and also the beautiful hammock with stand, perhaps my favorite piece. This lovely pottery makes a gorgeous table and always has our dinner guests in awe. Thank you, Tena, for sharing your talents with all of us. BTW, my set is a mix of five different glazes so each day using a different colored piece is like being presented a new beautiful gift every time. Such glorious glazes!

  74. Beth Schmitt says:

    This is something I have always wanted to try. Wish I lived in your area!

  75. Oh I love pottery! I was fortunate enough to have taken two semesters in college (just enough to give me an appreciation for how s)(**&^*(&^* hard it is, lol!) Hope I win!

  76. I follow you on Facebook

  77. and i-google. Does that count?

  78. and I “liked” Earthbound on Facebook

  79. And I “liked” Cahaba on Facebook.

    (Can you tell I want that platter?)

  80. Pam Colbert says:

    I would love to join in a girls night out – but will need to wait closer to the date due to unpredictable work schedule.

    I have the footed dinner plate in waterfall. I do love the peacock finish, but all the photos above are so beautiful – it is too hard to decide. I love the combo of colors and size plates (like the greens above). Can’t wait to make a visit!

  81. Very pretty!

  82. All her work is beautiful! I wish I lived nearby so I could go to your Girls Night. :-)

  83. fun! and so pretty! it’s funny, b/c me and the kids did a clay pot for school the day before you posted this. great minds think alike i’m sure :)

  84. How beautiful! And what fun! I’m anxious to find out of anything similar exists here in Richmond now!

  85. i stumbled upon your blog thru a friend and loved living vicariously thru the creative process! thanks for posting all of the brilliant pictures! looks like so much fun – and so much deliciousness after!

  86. That’s Beautiful!

  87. Christine Baker says:

    Love all of her beautiful pieces but I am especially partial to her Auburn designs!

  88. Elizabeth P says:

    So fun! Does the $15 discount only apply to the six week lessons or to the girls night out too?

  89. Elizabeth P says:

    I already like you on FB

  90. Wow, your aunt’s pottery is gorgeous! I would LOVE to win that platter.

  91. Just found your blog tonight and I love it. The pottery looks awesome – thanks for a chance to win! :)

  92. I liked Earthborn Studios on Facebook.

  93. I really like the Peacock and Sierra mugs in her shop.

  94. I liked your blog on Facebook.

  95. It looks like a great time was had by all and the pieces turned out very well. I am definitely checking my calendar to see if I can join you on Oct. 22nd! The giveaway is gorgeous and I’m throwing my hat(s) in the ring. :)

  96. Tweeted about giveaway. :)

  97. Already like GFO on FB. lol. :)

  98. Added Cahaba ClayWorks as friend on FB

  99. Now following Tena on Twitters. :)

  100. Liked Earthborn Studios, Inc. on FB. :)

  101. As for the store, all the pieces are beautiful, but the bakers really stand out to me. I love the Large Baker in Forrest Brown the best. Wowza, I need to get one of those!

  102. Shared giveaway on FB and tagged you. :)

  103. Beautiful!! I would love to win!

  104. I liked Earthbound Studios on Facebook!

  105. I am friends with Cahaba Clayworks on Facebook!

  106. I follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook!

  107. My favorite item in Tena’s store is the cake plate in peacock! Well, it’s actually a tie with the Bama mugs!

  108. I shared the Giveaway on Facebook!

  109. I need more pottery!

  110. I don’t just “like” you on fb….I “love” you!! :-) (But I’m not a crazy stalker)

  111. Liked EB on FB!

  112. Liked Cahaba Clayworks on FB!

  113. I follow you on Twitter :) Love reading your stuff!

  114. I liked Earthborn Studios on Facebook!

  115. I liked Cahaba Clayworks too!

  116. Toyia Hatten says:

    Oh, I would just LOVE to have that platter for Autumn & Winter entertaining!

  117. Toyia Hatten says:

    If I could have any piece from Earth Born Pottery it would definitely be the extra large square bowl in the mountain mist glaze!

  118. The products speak for themselves! Beautiful pottery and even a plain PB&J sandwich would look great on these plates. :)

  119. I like Cahaba Clayworks on Facebook.

  120. I like the square bowl, medium, in Forest Brown.

  121. I “liked” you on Facebook! (Not really sure why I hadn’t done it earlier…)

  122. And in her store….golly. So hard to decide. I like so many things!! Probably the cake stand…but in Peacock. Or Forrest Brown. Or Sage… :)

  123. Renee Guichard says:

    WHY HAVE YOU NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT THIS AWESOMENESS?? I liked earthborn studios on FB. I want that dish! Rig the drawing, I know where you live ;).

  124. Renee Guichard says:

    Favorite dish: peacock cake plate!

  125. Renee Guichard says:

    I like Cahaba clayworks!

  126. Renee Guichard says:

    I posted on FB about the giveaway… When can I pick up my platter? :)

    What time is the class on the 22nd?


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