Molly Hatch is not your typical crafter. She started, as many others do, with a love of her craft (which is pottery) but was able to catapult it into her full-time career for nearly a decade now. Her recent book launch New Ceramic Surface Design, is a guide to help new and seasoned crafters alike improve their techniques with clay, and is already garnering awesome reviews on Amazon.
Molly was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss her book launch, as well as her life as an entrepreneur. Check it out:
What made you decide that you needed to create this book?
I wanted to write this book to open up my studio practice to other makers and shed light on my approach to the ceramic surface as well as surface design for objects. I receive so many inquiries about my process, my approach to design and ceramics as well as how I find inspiration for my work. This book puts all of this into one text that is a workbook format, encouraging readers to explore and create their own new work.
When did you think to yourself “okay, this is definitely viable?”
There really isn’t a book out there on the market that addresses surface design for ceramics in this way. I think I knew that this book would add a lot to the ceramic and surface design offerings out there. With the experience I have had designing hundreds of products for companies like Anthropologie, I knew it would offer real-world experience and tips to those artists aspiring to a career in surface design as well as a new and exciting approach to the ceramic surface for those who work in clay.
What’s a surprising challenge that you didn’t know you’d encounter along the way?
I didn’t realize that in addition to writing the book, that I would be styling the book as well. It was a real test of my ability to style a photo shoot, and I really surprised myself—I loved working on the photo shoots. Of course it helped so much that I chose an amazing photographer to help—Thea Coughlin is fantastic!
How important was social media in your success of the launch? Do you think you would have been as successful without the advent of social media?
Social media is an enormous part of getting my work out to the world—so it has been equally important to launching this book. I think that social media gives you the opportunity to stay connected with a captive audience who is closely watching what you are up to. I think its a great addition to getting the word out to the world and I cannot imagine launching a book without it!
What is something someone outside of your industry might not realize about the work you do?
My career is divided equally between surface/product design and creating one-of-a-kind artwork, but my process is essentially the same for both parts of my career. When I design for industry or brand partners like Anthropologie, I make 1:1 scale prototypes with surface design out of ceramics. This is really an amazing thing—I do not use CAD or computer design programs when doing product design. Everything is done by hand and replicated by the factory. I believe this is a huge strength of mine and is largely what sets my designs apart from others.
New Ceramic Surface Design is a fully-illustrated manual covering a wide range of creative surface decoration techniques presented in an approachable and accessible format. Ceramic artist and expert Molly Hatch guides beginners and more advanced ceramicists through various methods for creating designs on clay.