MAKER SPOTLIGHT: HANA BREWSTER
Hana Brewster, the maker behind the colorful ceramic line Quiet Clementine, shares bits about the evolution of her brand, how her dad plays a role in her craft, and the meaning behind Quiet Clementine. Bottom line: Hana strives to bring happy into everyday with her pieces, and we think she's doing just that. Browse her Sister Golden offerings here and see for yourself!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you live now?
My name is Hana and I’m the owner and maker of Quiet Clementine, a colorful collection of ceramic home goods and jewelry. I have lived in Arkansas my whole life and now live in Bryant, AR with my computer programmer husband.
How did you start working with ceramics, specifically choosing to make jewelry and home décor?
My dad is a potter, so I’ve grown up around his creations and sometimes making my own pieces for fun (with his help) through the years. I previously made polymer clay jewelry and decor under different names after making clay necklaces for my bridesmaids. At the time, I lived in a small apartment and didn’t have much room or consistent access to my dad’s kiln, so I began working with polymer clay. I started with jewelry because I enjoyed making the necklaces for my bridesmaids and it was something that came naturally to me since I liked making jewelry when I was younger. I love decorating with fun details, so I decided to branch out to home decor a year after. Fast forward to last year, I made a few ceramic pieces with the intention of selling them and I fell in love with clay and the possibilities it gives me for bringing my ideas to life. Of course, jewelry and home decor products carried over into Quiet Clementine.
You recently rebranded! Is there anything you’d like to share about the evolution of your pieces and brand?
Yes! Renaming and rebranding is the best decision I have made for my business. Well, switching to ceramics is the best decision I have made, but rebranding is definitely a close second! Since the change to ceramics, I feel that I am able to express myself and what I love much better than before. I have more freedom and flexibility to bring my ideas to life and there are things I can execute that I wasn’t able to before. I feel like my products and brand as a whole are much more colorful and happy and are a better representation of what I want to put into the world.
Is there a meaning behind the name Quiet Clementine?
I thought long and hard about a new name and feel that Quiet Clementine is a perfect fit for my business, for a few reasons. Quiet refers to the small nature of my products and clementine refers to the vibrancy that I strive for through color and pattern. Clementines are a bright color and the word itself just gives the feeling of something fun and happy. Maybe this is a bit silly, but I also feel like the name can describe me in some ways. I am a very quiet, reserved person, but I strive to lead a colorful and happy life and I hope that shows through in my work.
What helped you perfect your craft?
My dad, of course, has given me plenty of advice and taught me so much about ceramics. He is primarily a wheel thrower and I currently only hand-build, so I just google and watch YouTube videos when I need or want to learn something new. I am still very much a beginner, so simply just practicing has helped me to hone my skills. I never want to feel like I know everything there is to know. I want to always be learning a new way of doing something or a new way of forming pieces that I haven’t tried yet.
What inspires the colors and shapes you use and create?
I’m a big fan of color, so really just the colors themselves are enough to inspire me. I also enjoy experimenting with different color combinations to find ones I love. Simple, repeating patterns are my favorite, so I try to incorporate those into my work as often as possible. Sometimes just browsing Pinterest and Instagram will give me a good dose of inspiration. There’s so many people making amazing things and visiting awesome places, it’s hard not to be inspired. I want my products to put a smile on peoples’ faces and make their lives more colorful, so I keep that in mind whenever I design something new.
Describe your typical day and bits of your making process
I am most definitely not a morning person, so sleeping in is the best way to start my day, ha! I like to check social media when I first wake up and then get any admin work out of the way in the first half of the day, so I will check emails and anything else that needs attention. On days that I need to fire the kiln, I will get that started in the morning, since it takes all day to fire. After lunch is when I do all the making and right now, that means wholesale production. This includes making the pieces, glazing, applying gold luster, or assembling air plant hangers or jewelry. Those tasks change depending on the day and what step of the process the pieces are in. There is usually work in different stages all over my studio. I work until my husband gets home and then we eat dinner and relax on the couch with one of our favorite tv shows. If any orders need to be packaged, I do this at night with the help of my husband (he’s my unofficial packaging assistant). After that, it’s usually time for bed!
Is there something that needs to be happening (or not happening) around you in order for you to be totally “in the zone” while working? Ex: you have to be listening to music, etc.?
I have to have music on at all times when I’m working. I don’t mind the quiet, but music just energizes me and helps things go faster, it seems. I will also listen to podcasts every now and then. Elise Gets Crafty is a great one for small business.
When you’re not making, what can we find you doing?
I love to read and have been trying to make time to read every night. I haven’t been successful with that yet, but I’m working on it! I also love going to the movies with my husband, spending time with my family, catching up on one of my favorite tv shows (I have too many), or browsing Instagram on my phone.
Is there another art form you’ve always wanted to dabble in?
In addition to being a potter, my dad is very skilled with a pen and pencil, but I did not inherit his drawing abilities. I have always loved painting, but more in just a play with color and paint shapes sort of way. I definitely want to learn more about abstract and watercolor painting. I’ve also been really into hand lettering lately, so it would be fun to learn how to do that. Oh, and weaving. I would love to try that too.
Why do you think shopping small is so important? What sets your handcrafted pieces apart from what someone can buy at a department store?
Shopping small is so important because it allows the maker to make a living doing what they love and are most passionate about. Every time someone purchases a product from a small business, they are directly supporting the person who made it, the person whose dream it is to create and offer those products to the world. Handcrafted pieces have the one up on department store items because the maker is touching each piece and providing a quality that you can’t find in mass produced items. Handcrafted pieces are also special because they’re going straight from the maker to the consumer and having that personal connection is really valuable. From a seller perspective, it allows the opportunity to include a personal touch with each order. I enjoy including a handwritten note to let customers know I value and appreciate their purchase.
What’s your favorite place to grab a cup of coffee in Arkansas?
You’ll probably think I’m crazy, but I don’t drink coffee. I’ve just never been a huge fan. I don’t mind the smell, but the taste I can live without!
We love Hana's reasons for why shopping small is so important. Support an independent maker who personally sees her pieces through from dream to actual creation and is hands on in every step between. Shop Quiet Clementine!