Sarah is half the dynamic duo behind Salty sea Dog Designs. Sarah and Blair both make the most beautiful hand molded pottery. From foxes to tiki’s mugs, plates and anything ceramic – they are sure to make you stop, stare, touch, and maybe just giggle a little!
SALTY SEA DOG DESIGNS – Sarah
WHAT DO YOU MAKE/SELL? TELL US ABOUT YO’ SELF
Blair and I are non traditional potters with a focus on fun graphic images. Our main inspiration comes from the sea and pop culture. One of our favourite things to see is when people stop in their tracks and start to laugh at a particular item. That’s when we know we have a success!
HOW LONG HAVE YOU HAD YOUR BUSINESS
Blair and I have been in business since 2008. After graduating from ACAD in 2005 we were burnt out and it took a few years to find our passion again. One day in 2007 we found ourselves sitting at a roller derby match and the ideas started flowing like crazy! We loved the counter culture and the loyalty amongst the teams and spectators. We loved how everyone was accepted for who they were no matter what they were into or how they looked. We knew we found our people and were inspired to start making again. We set up our first table officially as Salty Sea Dog Designs during a roller derby match in 2008 and haven’t stopped since.
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK?
At the core of our business we strive to make people laugh and have a good time with our everyday items. We love using bright colours and fun themes. We often find ourselves saying “It would be so fun if we had…” And then we make it! If we had to pick one thing that influences us the most, it is the ocean. We are surfers to the core. There’s nothing more amazing than being swept up by a wave and carried to shore by nature. You feel entirely whole and connected. Once you have been touched by that experience it stays with you forever. It’s what inspires all the nautical designs, tentacles and ocean life themes. Even the tikis are linked to the ocean. We are also huge animal lovers. Any way to include animals in our work makes us happy.
WHAT DO YOU DREAM FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN THE FUTURE?
Our goal for the future is to be able to create our work full time, living close enough to the ocean to surf when we want. We have plans to grow on-line and expand our inventory to include prints and clothing with our designs but always keeping pottery as our main focus.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM AND WHY?
Our favourite social media is Instagram. We are very visual people. We love the amount of images you can share and how fast people engage when you post.
HOW DO YOU PICK YOURSELF UP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG?
Ceramics is such a fickle medium. There’s always something that can go wrong. We run into issues all the time such as cracked pots, a bad glaze or a kiln that misfired. You develop a thick skin and realize you never stop learning how to improve. The best thing about our business is that we have each other. We are always encouraging each other to find the solution, the next idea, the way to get better and grow. There’s nothing better than working next to your biggest fan.
WHATS ONE THING NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT YOU?
Blair and I almost failed ACAD. We never fit into the vision of what our instructors wanted us to be. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you have bad ideas or won’t make it. You are in control of your own success. Sometimes not fitting in is the best thing that could ever happen to you. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and want to see you succeed and you will.
WHAT ARE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES?
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOUR STUFF?
In Calgary you can find our work at Crafted at the Calgary Farmers Market, STONE at the Crossroads Farmers Market and Bamboo Ballroom in Inglewood. We’re also in Big Mountain Kitchen and Linen in Revelstoke and Lovecraft in Tofino BC. We also have three upcoming markets in April. Make It (Edmonton) April 8-10, The Vixens of Vintage (Calgary) April 22-23 and the Calgary Comic Expo April 28- May 1.