Jen's Story

by Jayde Gibbards

 

We recently sat down with Jennifer, co-founder and creative director of Stone Studio, to ask her about her journey with clay. Here's what she had to say…

 

"I love creatively exploring because there’s no limits, there’s no pressure. You can just try it and see what happens. 


I first began my journey with clay ten years ago. I was living in California at the time and was going through a pretty rough time, struggling with anxiety and low self-confidence. Pottery was something I had always been drawn to, but it took me a long time to show up and to take that first step towards learning something new. I was so worried that I would be terrible or that I wouldn’t fit in, it was a long six months before I finally built up the courage to book in for a course at a local studio.

 

Jennifer sitting at the wheel in her Kingscliff Pottery Studio teaching a beginner pottery class.

 

⁠I never thought I was a creative person. I studied business, but the first time I touched clay something just clicked. From the moment I walked through those doors, I was greeted with nothing but kindness and encouragement. Getting into pottery was a huge confidence builder for me. Throwing that first pot, realising ‘hey, I can do this’ and seeing every pot after that get better and better, was really encouraging. And although it's true, you might be terrible at first, the more you persist, the better you will become. Like any new skill, it takes practice, and perseverance. 

 

Pottery members work sitting on shelves.

 

I became a part of a local community studio, fully immersing myself in the world of pottery—first as a member and intern, then as a teacher. The teachers played a huge part in my progress, they were all so kind, encouraging and supportive.  Throughout the whole journey from completing my first wheel course and then to progressing into teaching, I felt more grounded and confident in who I was. I felt like I had found my people and myself.

 

Jennifer throwing on the wheel in her Kingscliff pottery studio.

 

When we moved to Australia, I was struggling to find a community pottery studio so I ended up buying a wheel and setting up a home studio on our farm to develop my own line of ceramics, Yucca Stone. I used this time to refine and build my skills but I always missed the community aspect.

 

So one day when my husband, Brad, and I were out for coffee, we saw a sign for a vacant space and the idea of Stone Studio was born. It was in our heart to build a like-minded community just like the one I had in California; a community-minded pottery studio that is a place where people can express themselves, grow in confidence and find meaningful connections with other like-minded individuals. We started a kickstarter campaign, used all of our life savings to buy equipment and get the ball rolling.

 

Jennifer and Brad, founders of cafe and pottery studio named 'Stone Studio', in their Kingscliff cafe.

 

We opened up in 2020, probably the craziest time in recent history to open up shop- but hey we just went for it. It started out as just a small café/studio in Kingscliff and by the end of 2021 it quickly expanded into a larger space in Miami. After a major set-back, we relocated our Miami Studio with the unwavering support of our friends, family, staff, and community. We are thrilled to have opened our newest Currumbin Studio earlier this year.

 

Stone Studio, cafe and pottery studio, in Kingscliff.
Stone Studio, cafe and pottery studio, in Currumbin Waters, Gold Coast QLD

 

I wanted to make Pottery feel accessible to everyone. We offer beginner and intermediate wheel courses, handbuilding courses, kids classes, glazing workshops, firing workshops and memberships to foster and grow the community aspect. It’s just a place where anyone and everyone can show up as they are and get creative. 


Through my own journey of sticking-with-it; I have gained knowledge, skills, community, confidence, and pride.

 

We hope this inspires others and we hope to see you down at the studio soon."

 

Currumbin Waters studio.
Jennifer in her Kingscliff location teaching a beginner wheel throwing class.

Jennier teaching a beginner pottery class at her Curumbin Waters location.

Jennifer sitting in her cafe and pottery studio, Stone Studio.

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