Birmingham-based ceramicist Susan Gordon says 2020 was her biggest year yet. As sales soared, her employee roster mushroomed to a team of 19, producing 1,500 pieces of pottery per month. Working in smooth stoneware (“Porcelain is temperamental, and we fire each of our pieces three times,” she notes), the artist is best-known for her signature wavy bowls tipped in 24-karat gold—displayed chicly in a Homewood storefront masterminded by architect Carrie Taylor, designer Sally May and craftsman consortium Magic City Woodworks. Luxe learned what fuels the artist-turned-entrepreneur’s creativity.
Gold has become a kind of signature for you. Why do you love it? First, it’s timeless. Gold has been used on pottery for hundreds and hundreds of years. I also think it works to bridge the gap between traditional and modern, elevating our bowls to a decorative work of art.
I understand you’re keen to collaborate with other women-owned businesses. Last fall, we teamed up with Society Social in Charlotte—owner Roxy Te is someone I consider a friend—for French blue wavy bowls with Dalmatian dots based on her signature color of Brunschwig & Fils’ Les Touches fabric. It was a 50-piece collection, but it sold out in 12 hours! We’re doing decanter tags for Estelle Colored Glass in Charleston next.
What’s on the horizon? We’re bulking up our floral offerings for spring, so expect lots more hydrangeas, along with our hugely popular Botanica series: framed ceramic tiles that look like intaglios etched or painted with peonies, magnolias or anemones. This is my Mario Buatta moment.