Sometimes, you discover your passion later in life or at an unexpected moment. And, as Rich Brown explains, the reason you keep working at it often has nothing to do with the product itself.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your craft.

Rich: The name of my business is Pottery32 because I started when I was 32 years old. The funny thing with me … I really didn’t have a desire to do art before. When I moved down to Georgia I just got involved in art. Later in life.

My pottery started when I saw a man create a mug on YouTube and I thought that was so mesmerizing and I said, “You know what? I want to be able to do that too.” But I always had, I guess, a little knack for art. I learned art at a studio in Decatur. I didn’t go to college for it. Just started by taking a class. I just fell in love with it. It’s a part of my daily life.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve received on your work?

Rich: The best thing that I hear is, “We use your mug every morning. I eat cereal out of your bowl every morning.” I’m a part of people’s conversations every day of the week. I’m at the dinner table. I want my art to be used in daily life. I don’t want my stuff to be hanging on walls and just being displayed.

Q: What do you love so much about it? Why are you so passionate about pottery itself?

Rich: It’s such a challenge, I’ll never master it because there’s always something new to learn. The person who taught me said, “It’s like athletics. It’s muscle memory and you can just continue to get better.”

And with pottery no matter what, every time I open the kiln it’s a surprise. Weather can change the color, just where you got your product can change the color. You don’t know what you’re going to get. It can be a disappointment, I could be overjoyed. Always an element of surprise.

Q: The people that love your product or tell you, “I use your mug every day,” what would they say makes your product special or unique?

Rich: I don’t even know if it’s my product. I’m just about the community. I make stuff for people. When I think about pottery, a bowl is a bowl to me. I think the person behind it and how you care about the people that your product goes out to, I think that matters more than the actual bowl itself.

Q: If someone’s thinking about following their passion or their creative passion and going off and even starting a business, what would you tell them?

Rich: I would tell them to work. A lot of people think that it can come overnight and a lot of people tell me I’m good and I’m a natural and I’m like, “No, I don’t watch football on Sundays, I’m doing pottery.” This is my life. So if you want to start a business just take the time, and work at your product, try to master your craft. It’s not a fly by night thing.

People say I’m creative. I think everybody’s creative, you just have to find what you’re good at and be willing to work at what you’re good at. It’s just, I guess a labor of love.

article source: http://www.pinewoodforrest.com/journal/volume-15-october-2017/#article01