One of our favorite parts of focusing on the work of small companies and independent designers is meeting the people behind the products. We especially love getting to know new, young designers like Julia Sherman and Thomas Sprott, two ambitious students at the University of Oregon. They're currently pursuing academic studies, honing a craft, and learning the ins and outs of running their design business, Peaches, all at the same time. And they still find time to travel the world.

Peaches is one of three brands we're featuring in the shop in celebration of Design Week Portland. While prepping for their beautiful installation of slip cast ceramics, we had a chance to ask them a few questions.

Where does the name Peaches come from?
We decided on the name Peaches because it's fun and welcoming. We didn't want to name ourselves something that sounded too serious or unapproachable. Oh, what--maybe like "Woonwinkel"? Ha, yes, maybe like Woonwinkel. We like to have fun and are lighthearted people, so we feel that it fits.

How did you get into ceramics?
We love ceramics because of how natural and tactile the material is. It's a fully immersive and meditative experience for us. When we enter the studio, it doesn't matter how crazy things are in our lives and it's easy to escape into the process of making.

What's the best part about working in clay? 
Opening a kiln to reveal new sparkly work never gets old. We feel like we get to experience Christmas morning on a weekly basis. It is amazing!!

The worst part?
The worst part is how unforgiving the firing process can be. We throw our work into a kiln that goes up to 2500 degrees and hope for the best.

What really lights your fire? (pardon the pun)
We feel passionately about the preservation of craft and local industry. That's why we're devoted to making our tableware locally and with our hands. We're honored to engage in the ancient practice of ceramics and feel lucky to create vessels that bring people together around food. 

We're so sad you can't make it to the Design Week Portland open house to talk to our customers about your work, but you're bailing on us for a preeeetty good reason. You're showing at the Milan Furniture Fair, the world's pre-eminent design show. WOW, WOW, WOW!! Tell us about your project.
We're headed to Milan to display ceramic and wood lighting prototypes.  We are SO excited to go and see all the incredible work that will be exhibited!! It will also be both of our first times in Milan so we are beyond excited to explore the city, the food, and the people!!!

It sounds like Peaches and ceramics are definitely a part of your post-graduation plan. Yes! We're both passionate about ceramic craft and feel blessed to be receiving opportunities to turn our passion into our livelihood. We want to keep this momentum going as much as possible. As we near graduation we're working hard to establish Peaches as a full-time studio practice. We're filming a Kickstarter video in May with Portland based videographer Madison Rowley. The funds will go toward getting Peaches fully off the ground post-graduation.

That's exciting. Good luck to you. Design, design, make, make!!
That we will do.

You can purchase some Peaches work here, or come see their beautiful work in person at our Design Week Portland Open House.