Quinn Smith has a PhD in chemistry, but she found her true calling when she took up ceramics. She creates porcelain jewelry in forms that mimic the natural world. But she adds a touch of gold, a rich accent on white clay.
Tell us a little bit about you and what you do.
I am an almost-40 (but not for much longer!) wife and mom of 3. My kids are all in elementary school now which has really helped me focus on my work. I have a PhD in Chemistry that I never really used. In 3 of the years in between school and now I led the children’s ministry at my church, Mosaic Church Austin. I also serve very heavily there as a deacon. I’ve loved all things creative since childhood and now make jewelry out of super white porcelain. In addition to hand making my pieces, I use two design techniques to accent them: water-etching and glazing with yellow and white gold lusters.
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What got you interested in ceramics and jewelry?
My interest in ceramics began in 2007 when a friend invited me to take a throwing class at the Dougherty Art Center in Austin. A couple of years into classes I was buying a wheel and kiln for my garage with that same friend.
I had always dreamed of using my passion for art to touch the world but could never envision it for my life; I had neither the training nor the time. But that opportunity presented itself last year. I finally had the time to open my business and get busy making things.
I named it Remnant Ceramics to communicate that we can still use the bit of our lives that we see as “leftover” to make the world a better place. And I have found that jewelry is quicker and easier to make. It lets me spread my wings creatively more easily than mugs and bowls. And it’s just plain more lucrative. Having a daughter has made me particularly horrified at the reality of human slavery and trafficking. So fighting that was the cause I wanted to support. The A21 Campaign is a non-profit that engages the whole issue: they rescue and rehabilitate victims, educate and bring awareness, and help in prosecuting traffickers.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is the natural beauty of our planet and the heart of a person who has the courage to take risks and pursue their dreams. I don’t think our dreams are wasted. I think they are intended to touch our world with the good, the true and the beautiful. When I see people living that out, it truly inspires me.
What other hobbies do you have?
I also knit and sew from time to time. And in my spare spare time I run and read.
Learn more about Quinn & Remnant Ceramics:
Interview posted August 2015
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