"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful"
400 Moons is the studio of artist and designer Emily Rutzky. Focused on handcrafted pottery, the goal of each design is to create pieces that are not only beautiful, but are objects you would want to use daily.
From the first time I took a pottery class I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I told myself that when my hair turned gray I would cut it into a bob, dress only in black and white, quit my job and spend my days making pottery. In fact, this is actually the only goal I have ever been able to set for myself, as far as defining what I actually want to do with my life. Life got in the way, as life often does, and I focused on what I felt were more realistic goals for a career. And this continued to be a dream for later in life. It was during a personal time of grieving and loss that I found myself back at the wheel. It became a place to keep my mind quiet by keeping my hands busy, and a place to create and heal. It also became clear that it is the one place I am most at joy and peace. And so life taught me, as life often does, that maybe now is as good a time as any to get started.
I found that I was making things for my home and everyday because I wanted to create pieces I was not easily finding out in the marketplace. I wanted pottery that was beautiful, but I also wanted it to fit in with my existing décor. I wanted platters that worked alongside of various other pieces I have collected over the years. I made plant pots because I always have way too many plants around, and wanted something more than cheap, boring pots. This turned into making extra for friends and family, and I soon found that I was not the only one looking for items like this for their home and gifts. Before I knew it, a few extra pieces grew into booths at local markets and having work in small shops. And this is the story of how 400 Moons was born.
MATERIALS AND PROCESS:
My studio is located in East Nashville, and in true start-up style, was once my garage! I have spent the last few years slowly building out the space and buying the necessary equipment to make me self-sufficient.
I have my own kiln, wheel, and all of the various other tools needed for my pottery, and am expanding my glaze setup. I use a dark brown stoneware clay that gives depth to my work that I have found to be unique. My primary glaze options are Gloss White, Everglade, and Indigo.
The majority of my work is hand built, using slabs of clay that have been rolled out by me. I use various molds for my shapes and found crochet pieces for texture, but every piece is shaped by me from start to finish.