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Friday, June 1, 2007

An Interview with Etsian Jeanette Zeis

My second Etsy iterviewee is Jeanette Zeis, a talented potter (and fellow vegan and EtsyVeg team member) who sells her wares on Etsy at vesselsandwares and vegandish. I love the soft colors and the unique carved designs she uses in her work. All of her work is produced using stoneware clay on a potter’s wheel.

Tell us a little about your work…

I love making things out of clay. I am especially drawn toward wheelthrown work. I have been working in clay on and off for 16 years. And only within the last 2 years have I started to feel like I actually know what I am doing. Making pottery is a multi-phase process. Throwing, trimming, drying, firing, glazing and then firing again. The transformation from lump of clay to finished product never fails to amaze me.

What is the best/most exciting thing about working with your medium?

Opening the kiln to discover that that one piece you have been dying to see finished is just as you want it to be.

What is the most challenging/frustrating thing about working with your medium?

Opening the kiln to discover that that one piece you have been dying to see finished is crap.

How else do you market/sell your work besides Etsy?

I do craft shows and rely on my tile business to get me by. I also help run a studio-cooperative that has a storefront/gallery. I have few wholesale accounts that keep me busy, too.

What Etsy sellers have you recently bought from?

I just ordered some Ode to the Office prints from Elloh. Destined to be sent out as gifts to friends.

What advice can you offer for other Etsy sellers (especially newbies)?

I am a newbie myself. So I don't have any advice yet. Seems like listing regularly helps to gain exposure. I also give out business cards and postcards with my etsy address.

Do you have pets?

Yes. Spoiled 13-year old orange tabby: Syd Tha Cat

Do you have a day job?

No. I worked in the health food as a grocery buyer for last 5 years and quit my job in February to pursue the whole pottery-thing full time.

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Read. And crossword puzzles. And make soup.

What is your least favorite chore?

Any chore. But I seem to have the most trouble getting the floor mopped.

What is your favorite sweet treat?

My local health food co-op bakes vegan goodies. They make a kick-ass lemon bar. I love it. I buy 5-6 at a time, and hide them in the fridge.

Tell us a little about your path to veganism...

I became vegan when I lived by myself for the first time. No roommate or mom to cook for me. Raw chicken is just gross. So I picked up a couple of vegetarian cookbooks. These cookbooks happened to be vegan and I just couldn't argue with the logic of veganism. It seemed like a no-brainer. 13 years later....still vegan. Still a no-brainer....of course, I never learned how to cook meat anyway.

Do you have a favorite vegan recipe you'd like to share?

Vegan recipe, eh....usually I am a what's-in-the-fridge?-put-it-in-a-pan kind of gal. And I hate to cook in the summer. So I am all about the Tuna-Free Sandwich Filling in Vegan Planet from Robin Robertson:

1 can chickpeas
1/2 c. blanched almonds
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. kelp powder
1/3 c. minced celery
1 scallion, minced
1/4 cup soy mayonnaise (Vegannaise is my preference)
1 1/2 t. dijon mustard
salt and pepper

1. In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas and almonds until coarsely chopped. Add the lemon juice and kelp powder. Blend until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl and add the celery, scallion, mayo., mustard and salt/pepper. Mix well.

2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Get out some bread, make yourself a sandwich...add a little relish and some tomato and you are golden!And heck, if you don't feel like blanching still good without them.

In addition to her two shops on Etsy (vesselsandwares and vegandish), you can also view Jeanette's work on her website,


Vegan_Noodle said...

What cute pottery! I just went and got one of the vegan starter sets! Thanks for highlighting these different artists.

Tamara said...

Yay! I'm so glad to be able to introduce Jeanette's work to a wider audience.

Ashley said...

I love the cute little vegan tea cup!

JoannaGoldman said...

I like the tea cup too! No meat is getting in that tea!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your life and work, Jeannette!
Beautiful stuff!