Monday, March 17, 2014

Meet Your Makers: Karen McKee of Robyn's Nest

Please introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business:  My name is Karen Mckee.  I have a home-based studio where I create wheel thrown and hand built porcelain ceramics.

How did you come up with your business name?  I have gotten a lot of negative feedback on my business name because it's not my name and some find that confusing. I named my business after my daughter who had a brain injury when she was four. Lots of people came to our house to provide services for her. One woman would come in and see me at work in my studio or with my daughter and she'd say there's always something good happening at the Robyn's nest! I told her she just named my business! Several years later Robyn's Nest pottery was born. 


Where do you live?  I'm a native P
ittsburgher, living in Plum.

Who’s in your family? I live with my husband, daughter Robyn, and two labs - one black and one yellow.  Also in my family are Rachel, Jacob and Ben, Jesse, Jason and James, Jeff, Angelica and Aiden.

If you could sit down and talk to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? So many people - Nelson Mandela, mother Theresa, Jonas Salk, John Lennon, Malcolm Davis, Rudy Artio. They were creative people in different ways and believed in peace and humanity. 

What inspires you?  Inspiration? Nature, color, texture. Knowing that what I make will touch someone's hands and perhaps give them pause to think about that connectivity and smile. I recently discovered two older women in pottery:  Eva
Zeisel and Beatrice Wood. THEY inspire me.  To quote Beatrice wood, "women who have diamonds can't touch the joy and excitement of opening a kiln." Gotta love her! 


What is your favorite item you make for Boutique 208 and why?  My face cups are my most favorite piece to make for the boutique. They are quirky and smiley and totally functional!

What is your favorite item at Boutique 208 that’s not one of your own and why?  My favorite item in the boutique not my own would have to be Kyle Houser's lovely decal pots! I love his busy-ness!
What advice can you offer to someone who would like to start selling their handmade creations?  Begin by "shopping" local craft shows. Get to know your competition. Start out slow and hone your craft, always looking for new and improved and artsy looks. Define your own style. 







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