Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Sarah Chenoweth Davis Cup

I had another great Etsy experience adding a tripod cup from Sarah Chenoweth Davis to my collection.  You may be familiar with Sarah's work through Ceramics Monthly magazine.  Sarah had listed a cup that caught my eye but it was a bit larger than the cups I usually like to shop for.  I emailed her to ask if she had anything like what I was looking for not yet listed.

Here's how Sarah's customer service savvy impressed me.  She was busily occupied with other matters but took a moment to acknowledge my email to let me know when she could get back to me.  In our "instant everything" world, did that offend me?  No.  I was assured that here was a person who respects people enough to give each one her full attention in turn.  True to her word, Sarah got back to me and sent me photos of pieces she had not yet listed that matched my description of what I was looking for.

I found just the right cup.  I was delighted not only by her work but also by her service.

I chose this wonderful cup for several reasons.  I like the fluid detailing in the construction of the tripod feet, the clean, soft lines in the form and the arches that create an intimate negative space under the foot.  I have a bit of a sweet tooth for a surface that captures that "certain something" of the atmospheric firing process - especially when combined it involves soda firing - and the subtle, satiny surfaces of this cup are very satisfying.

Sarah's also good at describing her pottery experience in a way that helps her customers appreciate the pieces they've purchased from her.  Here is an excerpt from the hang tag that came with my cup:

"Sarah continues to experiment with a variety of construction and firing techniques, and her unique style combines her favorites. Her newest body of work explores the wealth of creative possibilities in combining bottomless thrown pieces with slabs to create soft, intimate forms.

Some pieces are decorated with delicately carved free-hand brushwork, infused with energy and movement. Other pieces are given over to the unpredictable environment of wood- or soda- fire kilns. These atmospheric firings leave marks of flame, vapor and ash which chronicle a moment that will never be repeated."

She uses dynamic words to help convey the excitement that a unique artisan-produced piece carries with it from maker to seller.  A mass produced item couldn't shoulder the same weight.  She's chronicling the Etsy experience.

I've had several months to use and enjoy this cup. I check back into Sarah's Etsy store every so often and am happy to see that she is continuing to explore a wealth of creative possibilities.

Thank you, Sarah for a delightful cup and the additional pleasure of seeing an Etsy pro at work.


  1. Very nice cup and great lessons for all of us to learn, whether we are selling on Etsy or elsewhere customer service should be top priority.

  2. Hi Troy, I was visiting w. my pal, Kyle Carpenter today and he told me about you and your tools on Etsy. Just looked you up and I really like your work. Found my way to the blog and so I'll be checking it often to read your posts.

    Really like what you have to say about Sarah's customer service. It's a v. impt. part of what we do and it's good to hear about someone who is doing it well.

    Cheers, Ron