Andile Dyalvane exhibition, from his residency at the Palo Alto Art Centermore
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The Craft of Design: Molly Hatch
Molly Hatch once assumed that, by now, she’d be on track to become a ceramics professor, with a studio on the side. That was before her work – traditional forms decorated with witty, 18th-century-inspired drawings – caught the eye of a rep for Anthropologie, the clothing and home décor store.
“Life has a way of putting something else in front of you,” says Hatch, who found a new career when the retailer hired her to design an exclusive line of pottery in 2010. Today that signature collection has expanded to encompass glassware, tea towels, painted furniture, garden markers, birdhouses, and holiday ornaments.
A “lovely marriage” of maker and company is how Hatch describes the collaboration. Her passion is applying a contemporary sensibility to history – “making something old new again.” Her quaint yet modern style, full of flowers and flourishes, looks right at home in the store’s mix of cheerful, on-trend, vintage-inspired goods.
Doing prototypes for mass production initially felt strange. When she saw the first samples of her Anthropologie designs, she was amazed at how well her work could be replicated. But the project has changed her entire outlook, “freed me up to think differently” – to the point where she’s now developing her brand in earnest. Though she still loves making conceptual art for gallery shows, putting affordable items out into the world – and earning a nice income from it – is pretty sweet.
“It just feels so good to be able to make products and have friends be able to go and buy them,” Hatch says.
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Joyce Lovelace is American Craft's contributing editor.