We recently connected with California-based maker Paul Lowe, creator of the Glazed Notions Dishes. His medium of choice? Clay, of course! As with so many of the makers we connect with, we were captivated by the story behind his beautiful pieces—and we think you will be, too. Below, enjoy this glimpse into Paul’s life and creative process.
Tell us a little about yourself—what got you into making? What made you decide to start your own business?
My name is Paul and I live in Palm Springs with my husband and three dogs. I have been creative all my life working as a prop and food stylist for magazines all over the world. Seven years ago, I had an idea for a plate for a photo shoot but could not find it. So I decided to take a class and make it myself. It was love at first touch. I just love working with clay, it's very relaxing and therapeutic to work with your hands. I started an Insta page for my work and people wanted to buy it…that’s how it all started.
Paul Lowe of Paul Lowe Ceramics, creator of the Glazed Notions Dishes.
Do you feel you have a particular style in your designs? How would you describe them?
Yes I do, it's a mix of my Norwegian upbringing, Scandinavian design, simple forms and functionality. It's that mixed with my Asian travels, so simple, rustic and real. I don’t go for perfection, like my grandmother always said, “perfection is boring.”
Tell us a little about your creative process—where do your ideas come from?
From all over…It can be a feeling, picture, artwork or piece of clothing. Inspiration can come from anywhere. I have learned to always write things down as soon as it comes to me, otherwise I forget it….
Finished Glazed Notions Dishes, in circles (left) and ovals (right).
Do you have a favorite kind of material to work with? What do you like most about working with this material?
I like most materials, paper, fabric, and metal. But I have to say clay is my big love. It's tactile, sensual and it moves.
Is there a craft that interests you that you haven’t tried yet?
I think I have tried it all. My only regret is that I suck at knitting, I'm total crap at it.
Is there anything else you would like to say about creating the Glazed Notions Dishes?
It's a sweet story. These little dishes are made using molds I made from my grandmother's old cookie molds. She had a large collection. The sad thing is that they all got lost in moving a few years back. I only have the molds left...
Recent works-in-progress from Paul’s studio (left); homemade Sandkaker cookies (right).
Could you tell us a little bit more about your grandmother and her cookies? Was there a special recipe that she had?
I grew up with my grandmother, Mormor as I called her. She was a great cook and crafter and we would spend our days cooking, baking and making stuff. There was always baked goods in the house, I especially loved her Sandkaker (sand combs) that she would fill with cream and berries. Some of the dishes are made with the cookie molds she used for that.
We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Paul, and the beautiful story behind his Glazed Notions Dishes. You can follow him along on his making adventures on social media @pauloweceramics and visit his online store at paulloweceramics.com.