Andrea’s fresh and bright clay creations infuse her love for painting with mid-mod vibes. Longing to connect more with her love of making, she launched Luna Reece Ceramics after a successful career in the music industry. Her functional designs enliven spaces, and her passion for art comes through in each unique and lovely piece.
Check out how this artist went from punk rock to pottery:
What inspired you to start Luna Reece Ceramics?
When I graduated from college with a BFA in ceramics, I was already working at a record company, and I loved it! I traveled with bands and people that I deeply cared for. However, as much as I loved them, the lifestyle prevented me from pursuing my true passion: art! It took me a few years to transition careers from music to art, but I started with painting and showed my work in group and solo exhibits and had great success. In the midst of that, I realized that my true desire was to get back into working with clay, so I bought a kiln and started creating.
My work was more sculptural then, but one day my nephew came over to make gifts for his parents, and we started playing with ceramic tiles and cups. I really enjoyed that, and it sparked my transition into creating more home décor type products. There was quite a bit of interest in my work, and I participated in my first craft show, Patchworks. That led to two stores purchasing pieces for resale, which opened the door to the retail market. My business has continued to grow from there.
How long has your business been open?
In the early 2000s, after I had left the label, I had a short run producing work under my first business, Atomic Kitty Ceramics, which was influenced by 1950s & 1960s imagery. After that ran its course, I took some time off before regrouping and starting Luna Reece Ceramics.
Where did you learn your ceramic skills? Are you still learning?
I received my BFA in Ceramics from CSULB, and I am always learning, researching, and figuring out new ways to express myself.
What are your favorite products/materials to use?
Clay and glaze, but I love painting and playing with mixed media materials.
Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
For ceramics, my guiding aesthetic is clean and simple lines and mid-century design. Also, I love the beach and go as often as possible. It refuels me in many ways. I draw inspiration from nature but not in a literal sense. It’s more like: if I were a plant, what kind of pot would I want to be in?! Haha! My Mexican heritage and love for the desert also fuel me. I want my work to bring joy and life into a space, so I try to create modern and fresh pieces. Things I would put in my own house. I try to remain true to that.
“I want my work to bring joy and life into a space.”
What do you do when you get stuck/un-inspired?
Looking through old sketchbooks usually brings to mind an idea, design, or a piece that stokes creativity. Sometimes I just start making and playing to see where it leads. Other times, I doodle or journal, and inspiration comes.
What has been your biggest lesson learned in terms of running a small business?
You can only go so far by yourself. You need an awesome support system that offers a wide variety of advice, help, and cheerleading.
Have you found a creative community? If so, how?
Yes! I have an amazing group of creative friends. Some have been life long friendships, others are new, but they are all precious to me! Coming from an artistic background, I gravitate towards other creatives. Participating in craft markets and attending creative classes has been a great way to meet new people. We try to engage weekly via zoom or group text, asking questions, and sharing business advice. I honestly don’t know what I would do without them!
Do you ever struggle with balance?
Yes, of course. Being a wife, a mom, a grandparent, an artist, a business owner, definitely has its challenging moments! Sometimes one aspect of my life doesn’t receive the same care or time as another. It’s also difficult to meet production needs and leave time to develop new ideas or have fun creating.
What are you proudest of?
It’s a great feeling when someone purchases my work, whether they choose to gift it or live with it! Knowing that what I’ve made touches someone in a deeply personal way that moves them to share the peace, joy, or gratitude they feel from that piece makes my day, always. It’s a blessing to be able to do what I do, and I am so thankful for this opportunity.