Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Chin.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Sure! I’ve found that being a ceramic artist with an International Relations background is something that really makes people scratch their heads. The truth is that I have always had two main passions: culture and the arts. Both of my parents are from Jamaica, but my siblings and I were raised in New York. From a young age, growing up in between two cultures made me really interested in exploring the social and cultural ties that connect people who come from different parts of the world. In addition, I have also always felt the need to create things! My parents worked really hard to make sure that we had opportunities to explore our creative passions. They encouraged me to try everything from the piano and the cello to painting and film while I was growing up.
I didn’t realize exactly how my global and artistic interests fit together until I spent a semester studying abroad in Havana during my junior year as an International Relations major at Brown. Being immersed in Cuba’s art world reminded me just how important the arts are as a tool for helping us to gain a deeper understanding of the histories and values of other cultures. After graduating from college and spending a year in the U.K. pursuing a Master’s degree at Cambridge and researching how art can be used to facilitate cultural exchange, I entered the field of International Education. I randomly picked my pottery hobby up in January of 2016 and I fell in love with it. The more time that I spent in the studio, the more that I realized that actively creating art would put me in the best position to explore how the arts can be used to make the world a better place.
My need to keep creating became so intense that in July 2017, I made the decision to turn my love for pottery into a business! After spending several months in the studio designing, I finally launched in December 2017. Grey Remedy is essentially my introduction to the world as a practicing artist.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, when I decided to start my business, I still had a lot to learn about pottery. It took months of persistent practice with plenty of trial and error for me to create items that I was comfortable sharing with the world. Nevertheless, the work that I was creating after just a month of consistent focus was 100x better than anything that I had ever created during my 1.5 years of weekly studio visits up to that point! I’ve learned that no matter how much we may enjoy doing something, having discipline in that thing is really the only way that we will be able to grow in it.
Another thing that I sometimes struggle with is how physical pottery is! Spending hours at the wheel every day can be really tough on your arms, shoulders, and back. I’m definitely learning how important it is to take better care of myself by taking more breaks at the studio and stretching.
Grey Remedy Ceramics – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The name of my company, “Grey Remedy,” comes from my belief that creating art (in my case, working with clay) can be a healing experience that can help us to find balance in our everyday lives. I try to make simple, beautiful items that reflect the calm energy that I feel during the creation process, and I want for my pieces to help people to feel more present in the daily rituals that keep them grounded. Sitting quietly to enjoy your morning tea or coffee out of a handmade mug is a completely different experience from grabbing a paper cup to go!
I love to create work with clean lines, and I pay special attention to form and proportions. The simplicity of my pieces allows them to complement almost any space, and because all of the glazes that I use are lead-free and food-safe, my pieces can serve both decorative and functional purposes. I sometimes drink matcha out of a small bowl that I designed for holding jewelry, and I have a dinner plate on my nightstand that I use as a tray for toiletries and trinkets. You can really use my pieces for whatever function serves you best.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think that one of every artist’s proudest moments is their first sale to a stranger. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that someone that you have never met connects with your work so much that they want to give your art a place within their own space.
- Website: www.greyremedy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @greyremedyco