Ashland University student sells handmade pottery at local business

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Submitted by: Julianna Hritz

Badertscher’s mugs on display at Vines Bakery.

Grace Scarberry, ASSISTANT EDITOR

Jo Badertscher, a junior art education major, is selling handmade mugs at Vines Bakery.

Vines is located at 530 College Avenue in Ashland and is open Thursday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Badertscher found a passion for pottery two years ago when she took Ceramics I at AU with Ernie Clark.

“I first began throwing on the potter’s wheel about two years ago,” she said. “It wasn’t long after until I began making mugs. I fell in love with throwing instantly, and have had a drive to improve ever since I began.”

Along with her university ceramics class, she has also taken other pottery and wheel-throwing classes at Wayne Center for the Arts. 

Badertscher varies the shapes and colors of her art so all of her mugs come out differently. 

“All of my mugs are unique,” she said. “I experiment with a variety of shapes and glazes, knowing that everyone finds their hands at home in a different type of mug.”

Vines owner, Julianna Hritz, is excited to see the interest and support the community has taken in Badertscher’s work. 

“It’s only been one week since we’ve had Jo’s pottery available in the storefront, but we are excited to see how much support she’s already receiving from the community,” she said. 

The mugs cost between $14-$22, depending on the size and style.  

Vines is currently the only place these mugs are available, but Badertscher hopes to create an Etsy page someday since selling mugs has been a goal for her ever since she first started pottery.

She also makes custom orders for individuals who reach out to her personally.

 “It has been a dream in the back of my mind to sell my pottery since the time I began,” she said. “ I would eventually like to begin an Etsy business, and that is where my desire to sell my pottery began. However, a few weeks ago I thought I would reach out to Julianna Hritz, the owner of Vines, and ask if she would be willing to sell my mugs there and she agreed.”

Badertscher’s inspiration comes from her high school art teacher who also sells pottery on Etsy. 

“My high school art teacher is a ceramicist,” she said. “Her carvings are an inspiration to me, as well as other potters in the area.”

So far, she has faced many challenges, like not having much time to produce mugs with her busy schedule since it takes about two weeks to make a single mug within the university studio, but she has also experienced many successes and surprises, like how quickly she has been able to sell her creations. 

She encourages others who have a desire to sell their products to do so by reaching out to people around them, and using social media as a marketing tool. 

“Although I haven’t been selling my pottery very long, I would tell people who desire to sell their work to use social media as a platform, and to reach out to those around them,” she said. “You may be surprised at how many people love the work that you are doing. It takes a leap of faith.”