Meet the Maker: Jessica Holleque

Of all the projects we've been working on for White Spruce Market, this might be the one we've been most eager to share...

We're so excited to announce our Meet the Maker Series! An ongoing meet and greet with the incredible makers who fill our boxes.

Each of the products that fill our boxes are sourced from independent artisans and makers. This means, when you buy one of these products, a real, live person does a happy dance. It supports their small business and their craft and allows them to keep doing what they're doing!

We can't wait to introduce you to the real humans behind the products. So without further ado, meet Jessica Holleque, the lady behind the beautiful hand thrown mugs that we carry, and pottery extraordinaire. Jessica is an extremely multi-talented and passionate creative, and we can't think of anyone better to kick off our series.

Keep reading for our full Q&A with Jessica!


1. Tell us a little bit about your story! How did you get started?

It helps to know I am the strangest combination of right brain/left brain. Which 3 years ago had me working as a full time chemical engineer and running my own wedding photography business. I was really frustrated that there wasn't a place for both my problem solving brain and my makers spirit. Pottery was this perfect combination of things I love. It's a tactile process of simple elements, clay and heat, yet there is so much to learn. The same things I love to find in my photography, things that feel tangible, raw, a bit undone and human, are all found in this craft. It became meeting place for my head and heart.


2. What do you love about the medium you work in?

Pottery became my place to meditate, be grounded in my creative process, play with materials and clay and glazes. It was the catalyst to leave my engineering job and complete 3 months of artist residencies in ceramics, followed by a 5 month traveling fine art photography project while living out of a camper. It continues to be a source of creative retrieve and continues to challenge me to dig deeper and learn more.


3. If you could offer any advice to other creatives who are just starting out, what would you say?

Let yourself be really bad at something. Try something without the intent to sell it. Pour your creative heart into the process and forget about productivity.

Second, support and surround yourself with people who are drawn to craftsmanship; those who can recognize something made slowly and intentionally. White Spruce Market and I dreamed up a Lake Superior themed mug collection long before I was living in the mountains doing artist residencies, and instead working two other full time jobs and making pottery in the few moments in-between, because we saw in each other that shared heart-tug towards things handmade.


Follow along with Jessica right over here:

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Jessica Holleque

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