It’s tableware found in some of America’s most elegant restaurants, featured in high fashion photo shoots and the pages of major magazines. And it’s all done in a pottery studio turned garage in Seattle.
“I like accessibility. Being able to buy something for $24 that can bring you joy for a while, like a mug, I think is important,” said Cameron Bishop, creator and owner of Beau Rush Ceramic.
Bishop is known for the unique, handmade quality of its pieces, as well as its matte glazes and colorful designs, such as the ultra-popular funfetti series.
“People tell me all the time how much joy it brings them or how excited they are to sit down at the end of the day and have their ice cream in the bowl of sorbet,” Bishop said. . “It makes them so happy. So, I love that.”
Bishop did not expect to make plates and bowls. She first fell in love with ceramics growing up in northern Arizona. She then worked in restaurants and nightclubs across the country while devoting herself to eight years of art school.
“I took on art student debt, which is awful,” she said with a laugh.
Bishop’s initial goal was to become a gallery artist. She had a studio in Brooklyn and worked in galleries in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Then she started getting calls from her chef friends asking if she could make tableware – and Beau Rush Ceramics was born.
“The beautiful thing about tableware and functional art, which I didn’t think I would appreciate coming from a fine art background, is that people have all of these experiences on it,” Bishop explained.
“I know everyone’s like, ‘oh, my DMs are full of all this weird stuff’. No. Mine are full of people who are happy with their food, their ceramics, what they want their kitchen looks like. It’s a bit dreamy.”
Bishop is not just an artist. She is also a teacher. Over the summer, she moved to Montauk, New York, to host a series of clay camps. Her students included everyone from local kids to big names, like actress Naomi Watts, who trained with Bishop for an upcoming role.
“Some kids go out after an hour and some really want to stay six hours. They’d come back and I’d see their growth. They’d be like, ‘I don’t want to leave. I love it.'” Bishop: “This also applies to adults. When I first learned about Naomi Watts for a role, she was the same way. She was like ‘this is so hard’ and then she figured it out. By the third session, she was really thriving. She had ideas and things she wanted to do for her house or for her friends. It was more than just a workout.
Bishop tells me that starting ceramics is messy, frustrating and emotional. I discovered this first hand. Watch the video above to see how I did on my first time on the wheel. Even the most accomplished ceramists are not immune to these feelings, it is the occasional failure that makes the creative process so rewarding.
“I think the challenge would be the same thing that makes me go back. Like a glutton for punishment. Loss. Everything is a test… Our plates, I have maybe 20% to 30% creaking They’re really hard to do well,” Bishop said. “For me, I’m like okay, I’m going to set a timer. I have plenty of time before I have to pick up my child from school. I will make 20 cups. I’m going to do each one in a minute and a half and I’m just going to concentrate. Then I’m like a machine. Boom, boom, boom. I just have to get through, but I like it too. I love seeing the immediate progress.”