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.

141 thoughts on “Throwing Clay…and a Giveaway!

  1. 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.

  2. 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. :)

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

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

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

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

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

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

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

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

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

    fattybumpkins at yahoo dot com

  15. 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!)

  16. 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!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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 :)

  21. 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!

  22. 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. :)

  23. 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!

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

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

  26. 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… :)

  27. 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 ;).

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