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The Turmeric Times founder has created one-of-a-kind pieces for Bed Threads Gallery.

| By Antonia Day | Interiors

Brooklyn-Based Ceramicist Teya Kepila’s Sculptural Pieces Are Products of Mindful Creation

The Turmeric Times founder has created one-of-a-kind pieces for Bed Threads Gallery.

The life of Brooklyn-based artist Teya Kepila is nothing short of interesting. A holistic health coach, wellness enthusiast, and founder of The Turmeric Times, Teya’s days are full of meaningful moments that spark joy in her life.

Growing up, Teya indulged in art supplies to create paintings, jewellery, and collages. She later began to experiment with clay, which quickly became her most aligned medium, allowing her to use its functionality to speak for the work. Teya embraces the imperfections that come with working with clay, welcoming every dimple, wobble, and bit of discolouration that joins her on the journey to creating the finished piece.

Teya has created a limited run of seven sculptural ceramics for Bed Threads Gallery. These beautifully considered originals are intended to serve as a soothing reminder to enjoy every moment as you experience it.

We spoke to Teya about what inspired this collection and how she implements mindfulness into her artistic practice.

Hi Teya! We're so excited to have some of your limited edition ceramics feature as part of our second Bed Threads Gallery drop. What was the inspiration for your collection?

Creating this collection for Bed Threads felt so natural to me because of the preexisting emphasis on wellness and rest from both of us. As someone who sleeps in Bed Threads, I find myself already drawn to earthy textures and quality pieces adding to my personal ambient recharge. As an artist, the things I create are meant to last a lifetime and hopefully many more after which is another aspect of creating a collection of timeless homewares. The softness of the glazes and the textures of the pieces felt wonderfully fitting with the nature of Bed Threads fabrics.

What inspires the unique shapes in your work?

Shapes are unbounded in the art of ceramics. The body of the piece can be influenced at nearly every stage of the process. I let the piece take over after the vision has left my head and leave it up to the clay to decide what it wants to do. Because ceramic work is notoriously unpredictable, I lean into the unknowingness by keeping the act of creation as a state of being. In the shape of the sculpture vases like the Canyon Vase, Stack Vase, and Pea Vase, you will find negative spaces in part of the piece. I enjoyed making these pieces with holes to let the air flow through while still validating that the piece is whole and complete.

The dimples on the vessel are similar to the textures of the human body. With each lump, mark, and warp I wanted the body of the piece to be something recognizable by all while living in a manufactured society. Indefectible symmetry is something the new age looks for in the spaces we live in, the furniture we enjoy, and unfortunately, even in our own bodies. I want the organic nature of clay to shine into each of our lives as a reminder of radical love in what is at its most natural state. The shape of each piece is a reminder we are meant to take up space in this world just as we are, unapologetically authentic.

How do you implement mindfulness into your artistic practice?

My mindfulness is practised through envisioning the function of the piece and allowing its presence to represent something loving for us to enjoy. I use clay as a way to emphasise the “food” in our lives not only on the plate highlighting what we eat but also what we are fed through our daily activities, conversations, habits, relationships, and choices. I actively practise the art of surrender. To fully allow the piece to take shape in this world and detach from perfection or permanence.

It is important that each piece is something not only functional but one that truly resonates with a small routine for others to use ritualistically. Each piece is curated with the intention of the owner using it in a way that is custom to their way of life. Something as small as a ring dish to store little treasures on or a miniature vase to collect a single stem is just a couple of ways to practise appreciation of the little things in life. I am a firm believer that once we start viewing our rituals as a sacred time for ourselves we allow the smallest aspects of life to be part of our deepest gratitude. We wisp away the fog that creates confusion about what truly makes this life beautiful.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

Those who live in the smallest corners of the world making pottery for their village inspire me to create from the deepest place of love. On many of my recent travels, I had the pleasure of learning about local ceramicists and their traditional methods which left me feeling touched by the love they put into their work. I find fifth generation, Greek ceramicist, Andreas Makaris, as a pillar of authentic love expressed through pottery. He not only shares how long clay has been part of his family’s journey but also how special it is to work with even to this day. Andreas speaks about clay in a way that I so deeply resonate with. The message is that clay is an integral part of our lives that has each element of the earth mixed into it. Clay is symbolic of a simple expression of love and radical presence.

I also find inspiration from every single beginner potter who jumps into the journey with an open mind. My heart tickles when I see someone's face glow and heart gush over a piece they created themselves and get to enjoy in life. It is proof of how connecting with ourselves by slowing down and allowing humbled energy to trickle from our hearts into our hands can birth an entirely new appreciation for life.

What is your favourite piece in this collection and why?

Within the Bed Threads collection, I would have to say my favourite vessel is the Canyon Vase. From being a hunk of clay to the piece it is now, it felt incredibly healing to create. I designed this piece shortly after my trip to Arizona and became infatuated with the rock formations. I loved its subtle yet breathtaking ability to be beautiful just as it is. Timeless and untouched. I felt this piece is something nature lovers would enjoy being that it has such an organic and unusual shape. In any spot in your home, the textures of the clay will be highlighted with light that shines on it honouring the process of being built.

Shop one-off original pieces at Bed Threads Gallery.

For more from Teya, follow her on Instagram @theturmerictimes.

Lead image by Andrew Paul @andrews_life.

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