We're Hiring!

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COMPANY DESCRIPTION

Gopi Shah Ceramics is a handcrafted ceramics and pottery design production studio based in Long Beach, California. Every piece is thrown on the wheel or hand built, trimmed, bisque-fired, glazed, and then glaze-fired to 2200°. Founded in 2014 in Austin, Texas, Gopi Shah Ceramics has moved from Austin to San Francisco to Long Beach and with it, designs, forms and clay bodies have developed and changed to create a line of stoneware home decor items that combine ancient traditions and techniques with modern forms and finishes.

JOB DESCRIPTION

Gopi Shah Ceramics has been a one-woman production studio up until now. We are seeking a production assistant that is a jack-of-all-trades. The ideal candidate is dependable, has a high attention to detail, and is seeking to further their pottery knowledge and experience. This is a part-time (15-20 hours a week) independent contractor position, but the right candidate will have the option to grow with the company and expand their role and responsibilities.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Learn all products for production
  • Weigh clay for wheel-throwing
  • Sponge greenware
  • Manipulate and decorate forms
  • Glaze/hand-paint bisqueware 
  • Pack and ship orders
  • Prep for and sell at craft fairs

REQUIREMENTS

  • Work consistently and precisely
  • Detail oriented
  • Great attitude
  • Self-starter
  • Excellent craftsmanship skills
  • Able to follow instructions accurately and in a timely manner
  • One+ semester of ceramics instruction
  • Lift 50 lbs
  • Repetitive motion
  • Stand for 80% of the day

To apply, please send your resume, cover letter, and samples of your work to gopishahceramics@gmail.com. Local applicants only. 

Giveaway Alert!

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Giveaway Alert! We've teamed up with fellow Indian creator Asha Patel Designs for a Breast Cancer Awareness Month giveaway! Due to screening and early detection, there are 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. currently. We hope this tittie tumbler and rose quartz necklace, which honors self love, will act as regular reminders to get mammograms and preventative care.

I'm super stoked to partner with a fellow Indian creator because I haven't met many (if any?!) doing craft fairs. I have found it's uncommon to find Indians who participate in the craft community. This is something I'm wishing to expand upon because it was very difficult for me to "break form the norm" and start my own pottery business. That's a whole other story though.

Follow @ashapateldesigns and @gopishahceramics on Instagram and tag a friend in the comment section for a chance to win a tittie tumbler and a rose quartz mighty mini necklace. Winner will be announced on Instagram October 9 at 9 am PST.

Clay LA

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I'll be participating in Clay LA - an annual sale and fundraiser at the Craft & Folk Art Museum, showcasing emerging and established ceramic makers in the Los Angeles area. You will be able to purchase my pottery in the CAFAM Shop starting Saturday, September 30 through Sunday October 8.

On Saturday, September 30th there will be a $7.00 door fee that will give patrons access to CLAY LA, current exhibitions at the museum, and a hands-on air-dry clay workshop. Sunday, October 1st, will be the museums regular "pay what you can" Sunday admission. Visitors will also enjoy a variety of sponsored snacks and drinks, including complimentary beer by Angel City Brewery.

Join us for shopping, fun air-dry clay workshops, music, and drinks!

My New L&L Kiln

Investing in a kiln was a hard decision to make three years ago in Austin when I first started my business, but I found a used kiln on Craigslist for $700 and ended up purchasing it. I tend to have extreme buyers remorse and I'm very risk-adverse, so purchasing large investments is difficult for me. I moved it halfway across the country to San Francisco where I ended up not needing it since I was in a studio that already had a kiln, so I eventually sold it.

Fast forward to two months ago when I was shopping around for kilns. I didn't know anything about phases, amps or volts. Luckily Aardvark, the ceramics shop closest to me, put me in touch with an electrician who works on kilns. He suggested looking at L&L Kilns, which I had never heard of. Up until this past week, I had only used Skutt and Paragon kilns. 

L&L Kilns have ceramic holders around the kiln that hold the elements in place. Instead of pushing the elements into your soft brick and pinning them in which eventually corrodes your brick over time, you simply place the elements into these holders thereby elongating the life of your soft brick and keeping it tidy. Because I fire frequently, I should replace my elements every year. The wear and tear to the soft brick caused by taking the elements out and putting them back in made me think that L&L may be better in the long run for me. 

Photo Credit: Hot Kilns

Photo Credit: Hot Kilns

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I heard that I should purchase a kiln for my needs in five years; however, we didn't have the electricity needed for what I actually wanted, so I ended up with the largest kiln our breaker could comfortable handle, which is 60 amps. I spoke with a retailer of L&L Kilns and he answered my lengthy and in depth questions. I sat on this information for a few days and then decided to go with what he suggested, an Easy-Fire e23t kiln.

Photo Credit: Big Ceramic Store

Photo Credit: Big Ceramic Store

It was shipped to me on a pallet. I unboxed it and read the huge binder of instructions that came with the kiln about setting it up, using the control panel, maintenance, and repairs. I eventually set it up and ran a test fire where everything worked perfectly. I had amazing customer service from both the retailer as well as L&L directly, which makes a huge difference when you don't really know what you are doing. There are also a ton of how-to videos L&L has on their website, which are a great resource. 

Something I love about running a business is that I am constantly learning, and buying and setting up a kiln is no exception. I now know what to look for when I need to move or set up another studio and purchase more kilns as I expand. I'm excited to see how this kiln holds up and eventually how easy it will be (I hope!) to replace these elements compared to a Skutt. If you have any questions about my L&L kiln, feel free to email me

Featured in Loam Magazine

Photo Credit: Kate Parrish | Life on Pine

Photo Credit: Kate Parrish | Life on Pine

Kate Weiner of Loam Magazine, an environmental arts magazine dedicated to promoting the work of pioneering individuals and organizations in the realm of sustainability, reached out to interview me on cultivating creative community, building a business, and finding flow.

A ceramic artist and advocate for the environment, Gopi Shah's ceramics are a vibrant study in color and craft. After stumbling on Gopi's Instagram feed, I swiftly fell for her carved hanging planters and "open hands." I love that Gopi uses her platform to not only support organizations such as the National Resources Defense Council and Planned Parenthood but also to invite us into deeper, delicious engagement with our surroundings

You can read the full article here.