Linda Renee Pottery bowls
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Linda Renee Pottery, Bluffton

Linda Laing’s pottery line changes with the seasons, offering designs shaped by functionality and family memories.

Linda Laing crafts handmade pottery pieces that are right at home as you sit around the fireplace drinking coffee or mixing up holiday cookies in the kitchen. Functionality and family relationships drive the shape and look of her pieces.

“If I’m getting ready to decorate, my inspirations are either nature or memories,” says Laing, who lives in Bluffton. “I think about memories of growing up with my grandmother. I think back to the old days. … I like simple. We don’t need more in this life to distract us.”

Laing’s Linda Renee Pottery line changes with the seasons. Fall brings mugs, olive oil pourers and salt cellars in warm, autumn-inspired colors. For the holidays, Laing releases pieces decorated with snowflakes and winter-themed patterns. Her spring and summer collections include pottery glazed in light pastel shades. Laing has one employee, Anna McKinley, who helps the artist mold her passion for art into thoughtful and useful pieces.

Laing launched the business in 2014 and credits a portrait she made of her daughter and son-in-law for their 2012 wedding as what helped her rediscover her passion for creating.

“That feeling of being excited to work on something sparked. … That’s what drove me to try something else and pick up pottery again,” she says.

Consistency is an emphasis of Laing’s pottery process. She measures each lump of clay so that her products are the same size from line to line. She then throws the clay into shape on her pottery wheel, before trimming and carving each piece, as well as adding details like handles. Each product is fired in a kiln twice — once before decoration and glazes are added and once after. Only crafting the types of pieces that she uses herself, Laing conscientiously makes note of tiny details when planning out each work.

“I pay attention to how things function,” she says. “I turn the lip of my basic coffee mugs in instead of out so that when you walk it doesn’t spill. It’s about the little details. I need to make sure that four fingers can fit through the handle because that’s how mugs should function. It has to feel balanced.” 

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