A Potter’s Perspective: Spotlight on Joel Shaw

A Potter’s Perspective: Spotlight on Joel Shaw

Every time you walk into your local coffee shop, you experience once again the cacophony of voices and the sound of the espresso machine mixed with the smell of freshly-ground coffee. These are the things you love, the things that make a business meeting or lunch break with a friend a pleasure. While the sights and sounds all contribute to the experience, it’s the multitude of stories woven into the fabric of the shop that we take beyond its walls. These narratives shape our perspective on life, reminding us of what is important. One such story stood out last week when Clint, one of our baristas, was telling us about Seeds’ tea pots and cups. The pottery is all handmade by Joel Shaw, the hands behind Eugene Sailor Studios. If you frequent coffee shops or even if you just enjoy coffee and tea at home, chances are you probably have a favorite brew as well as a favorite cup to drink from. “People tend to have a glass they like,” Joel says. “Most people have something they will go to if they have an option, and I like that aspect of it.” What’s Joel’s favorite thing to make? “Little tea bowls,” he says with a smile. “I don’t think, at this point, I’ve ever made two the same.” Eastern cultures like the Chinese and Japanese value yunomis – teacups – and tea bowls for their practicality and artistic appeal, and Joel loves the history behind these pieces. Customers appreciate Joel’s pottery for its beauty and functionality—two things he takes seriously. For the past three years, he’s honed his skills by studying shapes so...