*Where are you from?
Was born and raised in Frederick, MD. Moved to Albuquerque, NM in '83 to be closer to family. Always missed the green and change of seasons. Moved to Oakland, MD 7 years ago.
*How did you decide on your shop name?
All the porcelain collectible art is signed and dated so, that's why my business name is Robin Harley. Am mostly known for the porcelain art. Am a porcelain artist and graphic designer. Porcelain is my greatest passion and love the complexity and challenges of it. I design graphics mainly for Commonbond Communications, Inc., although have designed logos and graphics for other people and businesses.
Why did you start your business?
Started my business almost 10 years ago. Before that, I just gave pieces away and was encouraged to try and sell my art. Is so important to charge reasonable prices, whether graphic designs or porcelain art, so anyone can purchase a piece to collect if they want or have a graphic or logo designed. Is so important to donate art pieces to help raise funds for children and donate here in Oakland, MD to the schools. To me, that's what art is all about - helping. And if more people came together, just think what could be accomplished.
*When did you start crafting?
Started crafting and doing art ever since I can remember. Taught myself to crochet at age six. Loved art but did not do well in high school but learned the basics. Art is what each person sees and portrays, not what someone tells you to draw and how it should look. It's about learning the basic techniques and doing what you visualize with those techniques and applying them. Therefore, Am a self-taught artist and hands on experience is the best I think.
Can you tell is a little about the process used to make your items?
Porcelain Art:This process has been experimental from the beginning. A lot of things I've done aren't even suppose to work - if you listen to people - as for myself, I hear my own drum and keep on trying. Each piece is hand casted by me. It's so important to have a light weight ornament. I cast, clean, hand draw every little detail, paint, apply gold and create each design. No piece is the same if it's looked at carefully. Have lost a lot of pieces as well but every time the kiln lid is lifted, after a high fire, it's like looking into a treasure box - I never know what the pieces are going to look like.
Graphic Design: All of my graphic design are designed in Adobe Illustrator. They are all scaleable vector files. Am self-taught with Adobe Illustrator but took Adobe Photoshop for a semister to learn how to color graphics for commonbond Communications, Inc.
*Where do you craft?
Do all my graphic designs and porcelain art at home. And am so grateful to be able to work from home.
What does it look like?
Each piece of porcelain artwork is all porcelain including the hand drawn detail along with each dot, some are painted, and all are signed and dated by me. These porcelain collections change each year. I control the process from beginning to end taking porcelain to its ultimate limits. Pictures do not begin to reveal the unique and dainty details on each porcelain piece. The Christmas ornaments are very light in weight.
*What would you love to add to your crafting space?
I'd love a Skutt kiln, potters wheel, and an Apple computer for drawing vector graphics. Get tired of fighting the PC's for graphic design work.
*What’s your supply addiction; is there a specific color or type of supply you just can’t pass up?
Porcelain is my supply addiction. So versatile and complex. So soft and luminous. Beautiful. Porcelain is my relief outlet. It's not work it is relaxing.
One day it would be wonderful to buy the gallon of red porcelain and make myself a teaset with the slip trailing of black dragons or flowers on it. But, my addiction to porcelain wouldn't end there - China painting. Am going to start teaching myself that.
*Which item in your shop did you enjoy making the most and why?
The teapots. Started off making nothing but teapots and tea sets. The shape of the teapots are fun to work with. My very first pieces were made of earthenware - what people call "regular ceramics". After 911 happened sales ended for teapots. The woman who had this shop suggested for me to make ornaments. That's how all of the ornaments, boxes, and other items came about. I couldn't end my passion of porcelain and actually, this turned out good so now anyone can collect.