Field Interview: Cindy Tischer
Today's interview is with artist Cindy Tischer of Mabel's Mugs. Cindy's pottery is earthy yet vibrant. Each piece adds beauty (and a smile) to everyday activity. Her spirit is just as vibrant, and she uses her pottery business to support a cause she feels strongly towards, animal rescue. We are so happy to have Cindy returning to the Field this summer!
Find Cindy in the Field at
SK TOWN BEACH on:
1. Tell us a bit about why you chose the name "Mabel's Mugs" for your business!
LOL! The actual story is PG13 and probably shouldn't be retold here! Suffice it to say that Mabel was my beloved first rescue dog and mugs rhymes with another word.....
2. How would you describe your aesthetic? Do you find that there are consistent themes or colors in your pottery?
People have described my work as "rustic and primitive". I'm learning with every piece I make so I like to think of it as more light hearted and fun. I make functional work, it knows it has a job to do, but it doesn't take itself too seriously :) I tend to favor the earth tones and deeper, rich colors.
3. You create using both wheel and hand building techniques. What do you think is the main difference?
Time. Hand building (simple forms) is a much quicker process.
4. Do you have a professional training background or did you teach yourself your craft?
I do not have a professional background or degree in Ceramics. I started late when my children got older. I have taken classes at the Guilford Art Center and Wesleyan Potters. I am a long time (and current) student of Nancy Johnson Mercado, potter extraordinaire & clay guru of Fire Witch Pottery. There is so much to learn in ceramics! I am learning the business and marketing and design as I go too!
5. Where do you find inspiration for the cheeky phrases often incorporated into your work?
Social media, politics, advertising and family are all fair game. I'll have more freedom to create the "cheeky" ones when my own studio is finished!
6. Do you create custom work for customers (or pet owners;)?
Yes I do custom work. I have had the honor of making personalized urns for pets. The owners share their memories and ideas and we work together to design a unique memorial for their furbabies. It is extremely rewarding and healing,
My rescue Mom/Dad mugs are also fun customized pieces to work on, as are mugs or wine goblets for engaged couples.
7. What is important to you when it comes to a workspace or studio?
Space and light of course. For inspiration I have pots that my children made when they were very little and pots that I've collected from artists who I really admire.
8. Do you have a favorite piece you've created that you personally use in your home?
My favorite is a set of 2 simple little cereal size bowls. They are a warm pine color and the glaze broke cream colored on the rim, they have the appearance of being salt fired. I call them my "Charlie Brown" bowls because no one wanted them. I love them and use them daily!
9. What would your advice be to a fellow artist who wants to incorporate a passion or cause into their work?
Pick a cause you are passionate about. Mine is animal rescue. Bring materials about your cause to your shows. Be prepared to talk as much about your cause as your art. I have a donation jar and also donate a portion of any sales to local rescue groups. Most people have no idea of the scope of need for rescue. Best show moment ever; I was doing a show in a church basement, very little traffic or sales. But one lady came by, who had recently lost her dog and she saw the adoption info I had on a dog named "Diamond". She wasn't looking for a new dog but the stars were aligned and she adopted Diamond and became a huge supporter for her rescue group! I am so grateful for having a part in that happy ending .
10. Dream collaboration? Can be a specific person, general person, company, etc. What would you create together?!
Interesting question. Well.... My pottery dream crush is Bill Van Gilder. Bill is a master potter who's work is functional and beautiful and his how to videos are informative & amazing. I love that he is so unpretentious , he always says, "there are many ways to do thus and such... here's how I do it".... I'd love to do a series where the sales would fund spay and neuter efforts and educate people on the importance of them.
See more of Cindy's work through her Instagram!