Who are you and what do you do?
Hello my name is Mandy Shoger and I am the potter behind Foxtail Pottery. I make primarily functional pottery, dinnerware to be exact. Using a beautiful dark brown clay from Oregon, I throw every piece on my 1970’s pottery wheel and then use colorful glazes and resist materials to decorate my pieces.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
I’ve been working on large serving bowls, so look for these at the winter show!
How did you get started in your business?
I majored in art in college, but focused mainly on painting. After college I took a few community center pottery classes and found that I fell in love with throwing because it relaxed me, and quieted my busy mind.
Is this a full-time business for you?
No, I wish it was, but I work part-time as a tech at a local downtown hospital in Interventional Radiology, where we fix arteries and veins. It can be an intense, high-stress, long hours job, so I am grateful to have pottery as an outlet when I feel overwhelmed at my hospital job. After dealing sometimes with life and death situations and seeing pain and suffering at work, I think art is essential to my well-being, helping me cope and bringing me joy and a creative outlet. Working with color and design is the best therapy!
What do your customers love most about your products?
I have customers often comment that they love my mugs, because the handles and shape of the cup feel comfortable in their hands. This makes me happy because this is something I really work on, so that my mugs are both functional and enjoyable to use. I know that handles breaking can be an issue with some mugs, so I try to make my handles a little thicker and sturdier for that reason. The handles won’t chip easily, so you can also put them in the dishwasher every day without being worried that they are too fragile.