In The Fold: An Interview with ceramicist Lauren HB
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Threefold Gifts makers are spread across the nation. What some don’t know is that a small handful of our artists are actively creating the gifts in our shop just blocks away from our front steps. Lauren Herzak-Bauman is one of those artists. Operating out of the Lake Erie Screw Factory, Lauren creates her geometric vessels, sculptural installations, and standalone structures in Lakewood’s well-known artist enclave.

Lauren Herzak-Bauman’s artistic practice fills homes with gorgeous, jewel-tone dishes, vases, and bowls, but her talents cannot be contained in just one space. Recently, her sculptural work and installations have been on display at the American Greetings corporate headquarters gallery, Cleveland Public Library’s Eastman Reading Garden, SPACES Gallery, The Westin Hotel in downtown Cleveland, and at MetroHealth Medical center in Brecksville.

Enjoy our interview with Lauren below, and shop a selection of her handmade goods at Threefold Gifts year-round.


How did you decide on your business name?

My business is Lauren HB Studio. I wanted to keep it simple but differentiate my functional work from my sculptural work (which I make under my full name, Lauren Herzak-Bauman). HB stands for my last name initials, but it’s really fun to let people guess!

What caused you to start making your products?

I fell in love with clay at a young age, before I could drive. However, I returned to making pots out of necessity. I was moving back to Cleveland without a job and I heard about this little thing called the Cleveland Flea (this was 2013) and I thought I’d apply and see if I could sell pots there. It went really well so I ran with it!

Can you tell us a little about the making of your products?

My pottery is slipcast, which means it’s produced in a mold using liquid clay, or slip. I design originals and take molds from them. Then slip is poured into the mold and a clay skin develops. When the slip gets poured out, the skin stays and become the pot! I fire everything in an electric kiln in my studio with handcrafted glazes. Every pot goes through at least two firings. Everything else I make depends on the concept and the context. I’m working outside of clay a lot for public art projects, which is fun and challenging.

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Who's on your our creative team?

I work with an awesome group of interns and assistants that help me manage all aspects of my business. My team changes seasonally but my assistant Meghan Calvert has been with me for almost three years!

Where do you create your work? What is that space like?

I make most of my work in my studio at the Screw Factory, located just around the corner from Threefold. The building is an old electric automobile factory (did you know that Cleveland was a leader in electric cars at the turn of the century?!) and the building has tall ceilings and big windows that let in the best light. I’m surrounded by other small businesses, artists, and an awesome facility and maintenance team. The Screw Factory is really the best studio building I’ve ever been a part of! I also have a small studio in my basement and a home office. But all my computer work happens on my couch in the living room.

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How often do you find yourself in the studio?

I’m in the studio very regularly four weekdays a week. I’m a new mom so I find myself coming in on weekends and evenings too. Some projects allow me to work from home, but most happens at the Screw Factory. I’m pretty messy so it’s best to keep that mess consolidated.

What is your favorite way to creatively warm-up?

Ahh such a good question! This changes all the time. Sometimes it’s sketching. Sometimes it’s making prototypes and maquettes. Other times it’s cleaning the studio, looking through old sketchbooks. One of my favorite things to do is to get outside and take pictures of surfaces, textures, and other abstract things that catch my eye. When I’m writing I turn on movies/tv shows I’ve seen a million times so I can zone out and get to the work. My everyday warm up includes copious amounts of coffee.

Share a little about your average day of work.

There’s a lot of repetitive labor in my studio practice, such as pouring molds, glazing pots, and loading and unloading kilns.  I try to break that up with some more on-my-feet physical activity like recycling clay, making glazes, or packing shipments. I work on problem solving tasks before lunch and save mindless grunt work for the end of the day. What I like about my studio practice is there really is no average day. Some days we are glazing pots, some days we are pouring resin on 10 ft. sculptures, and even other days we are installing artwork at gallery exhibitions. It keeps the workdays super fun!

Which part of your process do you get the most satisfaction from?

I really really love the design process. It’s hard but extremely satisfying to start with nothing in front of you and build prototypes to produce in clay. I also love unloading kilns with freshly glazed work, especially when the pots are still warm! It’s like Christmas at every kiln unloading.

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Do you have a favorite tool or technique that you love/can't do without?

I have way too many tools that I love to use all the time, but the biggest life-saving tool has been my Klein Tools Non-Contact Voltage Tester. I was once shocked touching a kiln and now I never touch a kiln without using my voltage tester first.

What do you like to listen to while you’re working?

Podcasts, music, movies, and TV. I switch it up a lot. Mortified is my current favorite podcast.

What is something that you wish people knew about you/ your business/ your products?

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That my practice is multi-faceted; I make sculptures, installations, public and private commissions, and public art. I really really love what I do and what I make. I hear from young people all the time that they love making things but they’re scared to pursue it as a profession. My advice is to pursue your passion ruthlessly.

If you could outsource any part of your current process, what task would that be and why?

I would love to outsource marketing! As an artist business owner, I wear a lot of hats and need to know how to do a little bit of everything. But I would so love for someone to take over this aspect of my business so I can focus on the work.

How do you see your work or processes changing in the near future?

I continue to find ways to make my business more efficient. I plan to work smarter, not harder! I also see custom and commission work growing. This is exciting as I love to design. I would love to art direct the functional side of my business and keep my hands in the sculptural side.

Which season is the most difficult for you, sales-wise? When is your busiest? How do you handle those highs and lows?

Since going wholesale, the flow of my business has really changed. My busy seasons are February-April and September-November, which coincides with sending new work to retail stores around the country as they stock up for tourist/holiday season. The traditional holiday buying season has become much more balanced for me and surprisingly I’m taking time to enjoy this time of the year. Summer months tend to be a difficult time sales wise. People seem to spend more money on experiences than objects at this time of year.

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What motivates you to do what you do?

What doesn’t?! My dad told me once I had an issue with authority. I now see he’s right. My main motivation for self-employment is to be able to do the things I want, with the people I like, in the places I like, when I want to do them. And I love making things, and I love being around other people who make things, and I love to work, and I love my studio, and I love the places I get to make art outside of my studio. So work makes work. The love for it drives the motivation and the motivation drives the work.

Who has had the greatest impression on you as an entrepreneur?

My dad and my grampa and my mother. My grandfather quit working for the man halfway through his life to open his own framing business. He put his entire life savings into it and retired with a good nest egg for himself and my gram. And they lived happily and comfortably and peacefully. My dad was very motivated to take care of his family and made his business work for him. He adapted some really great techniques to the sales industry that put him in a great place. He’s always strategizing with me on how to grow my business, encouraging me to think big. My mother too! She started a non-profit art center when I was 10. She just went after it! And after that she started her own framing business. She just did it without question. She’s so cool!  I wouldn’t be where I am without these people.

Are there any specific makers or creators in general who you think our readers should be paying attention to? What do those people mean to you?

Sometimes I think we need to turn our attention away from the influencer culture and focus more on the inspiration behind art, artists, and products. Influencers are awesome, but trendy, and focus shifts quickly from product to product, and season to season. To that end, I’m spending a lot of time looking at Nasa and National Geographic on Instagram. National Geographic spends time talking about how messed up our planet is and I think we all need to let that sink in more and think about how we can make a better/smaller/greener impact.

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What is your favorite thing about running your own business?

The variation in my daily routine, working with awesome interns/assistants, the creative freedom I enjoy in my personal and professional life.

Let’s say that you find some spare time in your schedule… what do you like to do when you aren’t working?

Momming is pretty high on my list of favorite things to do right now. It’s fun to rediscover the world through his eyes. But yoga is my other very favorite thing to do.

What advice would you give to future makers of all ages?

Take care of your body!


Shop a selection of LaurenHB ceramics at THREEFOLD Gifts, where you can find goods from over 50 national professional makers!
Visit us every Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm at 13339 Madison Ave. in Lakewood, Ohio.

 
For the Record Collector

Record collectors worldwide are celebrating Record Store Day this Saturday, April 13th. While some people show up for the limited edition vinyl, others are just excited that they still have a local, independent record store to shop with. Either way, record lovers love the format for its warm, analog tones, huge artwork, and tactile listening experiences. So, while your special someone is out scoring some special records, why not grab them some gifts to show them that you support their choice of music format?


PRATHER MADE

One of the biggest downsides of owning records is storage. It doesn’t take long for your shelves (or milk crates) to fill up leaving you searching for another solution. Enter Prather Made with their stylish record storage and display options that prove you can have form and function.

Album Stand

Album Stand

Normally “made-to-order”, we have a few Minimal Series single record racks in stock to take home today!

Normally “made-to-order”, we have a few Minimal Series single record racks in stock to take home today!

Record Ledge

Record Ledge

 

ALISON ROSE Tees

The folks at Alison Rose Tees know how to do Record Store Day right. Not only will they be hanging out in a record store all day (Lost Weekend Records in Columbus, Ohio) but they will also be live screen printing a special RSD19 shirt! If you can’t make it there, don’t worry because they’ve stocked us with a few of their record themed favorites.

Support Your Local Record Store Tee

Support Your Local Record Store Tee

Vinyl is Not Dead lapel pin

Vinyl is Not Dead lapel pin

Vinyl is Not Dead Tee

Vinyl is Not Dead Tee

 

TRIPLE THREAT PRESS

Show your vinyl love with something a little more flexible. Whether it’s a pocket notebook to keep track of your latest stack of wax or a coaster set to make sure that the only ring wear you experience is in the $1 records bin, Triple Threat Press has got the goods to get things done.

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Landry Print Co.

Follow the beat with this fun illustrated bicycle featuring a vinyl record tire. Perfect for your record room or office, this print was printed by hand with silver + red + black ink on light cream paper. Is size an issue? Don’t worry because this print is available in two standard sizes – 18X24” or 11X14”.

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MATT HECTORNE

It wouldn’t be Record Store Day without some records! Standing out from the usual filler that rounds out our display record rack, we also have the wonderful third release by Mississippi/Cleveland/Nashville’s own Matt Hectorne.

“With their cooing vocals and slide guitars, songs such as "Only Way Into Your Heart" and "It Don't Matter at All" have a Wilco vibe to them, and the mellow title track possesses a Grateful Dead feel. In Hectorne's talented hands, the songs come across as natural roots rock explorations.”
–Cleveland Scene

Give it a listen on Bandcamp and then stop in to grab a copy of your own.

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New Makers This March

We’re wildly excited to share news that we’re growing the Threefold Gifts family of makers! This month we had three new makers join the shop, and we can't wait for you to meet them. Before you shop their wares, learn a bit about the people behind the goods.


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Brian Giniewski

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A college ceramics and design professor-turned-full-time maker, Brian Giniewski works out of his Philadelphia pottery studio. There, he creates restrained forms featuring fluid, pastel candy-colored glazes. His labor-intensive approach to glazing and firing is part science and part kiln magic. Each piece is handled dozens of times throughout the making process and is fired up to four times to achieve the viscous, drippy effect. 


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Legend Headwear

Cleveland, Ohio

Legend was founded in 2017 and is the second generation of a 35-year family baseball cap manufacturing company. Our caps are made from carefully-chosen fabrics that are suitable for any condition - the beach, the bar, on a hiking trail, you name it. We know what it takes to make a quality cap, and we take the utmost pride in creating a quality product that people love and wear over and over. We go the extra mile and add a custom inner lining to cover the embroidery and use real, hand-stamped leather for our patches.


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Calina Shevlin

Le Brassus, Switzerland

Calina C. Shevlin has an MFA in metalsmithing and jewelry from the University of North Texas. Having worked at Swiss watch companies and independently as a guillocheuse, her goal is to disseminate the information on guilloché far and wide.


“Hey, I make stuff!”
Cool! If you think your goods would sell well at Threefold, apply to be a maker!

New Makers This February

We’re wildly excited to share news that we’re growing the Threefold Gifts family of makers! This month we had one new maker join the shop, and we can't wait for you to meet them. Before you shop their wares, learn a bit about the people behind the goods.


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Rocket E3

Cleveland, Ohio

Rocket E3 is run by Scott Hudson and based in Cleveland, Ohio. He likes to make fun T-shirts and hoodies that have a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, and designs and prints all as a one-guy operation (with some good administrative help from his wife, Karin.) The inspiration for his work comes from his love of Cleveland, the emotional roller coaster of being a Cleveland sports fan, and stuff like classic sci-fi and horror movies, little wind-up metal robots from novelty stores, vintage comic books, and old-school punk rock.


“Hey, I make stuff!”
Cool! If you think your goods would sell well at Threefold, apply to be a maker!

Valentines That Melt Our Hearts
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Last year you made a card. Maybe it didn’t go over as well as you wanted (you perfectionist, you!) …or maybe you forgot to give a card altogether. Let us do the hard part and find some truly top-shelf stationery for your special someone… but remember: we’re only smart enough to write the outsides. You’ve gotta think up the insides all on your own!


For the BFFSs-turned-lovers:

“You’re my person” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press

“You’re my person” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press


For the sarcastic partner:

“Good thing you’re cute” letterpress printed greeting card by Letterpress Jess

“Good thing you’re cute” letterpress printed greeting card by Letterpress Jess


For the shorthand couple:

“XO” greeting card by Boundary & Thorn

“XO” greeting card by Boundary & Thorn


For the handsy partner:

“I’m so lucky that sometimes you let me touch your butt” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press

“I’m so lucky that sometimes you let me touch your butt” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press


For the poetic heart:

“It’s easy to love you” greeting card by Allie Biddle

“It’s easy to love you” greeting card by Allie Biddle


For the faraway friend:

“Someone in Cleveland, Ohio loves you” greeting card by Boundary & Thorn

“Someone in Cleveland, Ohio loves you” greeting card by Boundary & Thorn


For the time-tested relationship:

“You’re still the one” greeting card and enamel pin by Valley Cruise Press

“You’re still the one” greeting card and enamel pin by Valley Cruise Press


For the ride-or-die couple:

“Hubba hubba hubcap” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press

“Hubba hubba hubcap” letterpress printed greeting card by Triple Threat Press


“That’s exactly what I need!”
We know! Come visit the shop and nab it!

Dave KoenComment
New Makers This January

We’re wildly excited to share news that we’re growing the Threefold Gifts family of makers! This month we had one new maker join the shop, and we can't wait for you to meet them. Before you shop their wares, learn a bit about the people behind the goods.


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Amanda Blake

Morgantown, West Virginia

Amanda Blake received her BA in fine arts from the University of Oregon, studied watercolor in Siena, Italy and oil painting and print making at the Chautauqua Art Institute in New York. Her paintings use symbolism and the imagery of superstitions to explore the idea of fate and the search for meaning in the the world around us.


“Hey, I make stuff!”
Cool! If you think your goods would sell well at Threefold, apply to be a maker!

Laura DrapacComment
New Products this December

New goods from professional makers are arriving at Threefold Gifts every day! We know you’ve been dying to get yourself a little something since you got that Christmas check from Uncle Bruce. First pay your rent, then come down and do some shopping! Get a glimpse at fresh arrivals below, just in time to treat yourself.



“Holy crap, I need this stuff!”
Come visit us…

Hours:
Tuesday–Saturday, 10am–6pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

 
Dave KoenComment
New Vendors This December

We’re wildly excited to share news that we’re growing the Threefold Gifts family of makers! This month we had four new makers join the shop, and we can't wait for you to meet them. Before you shop their wares, learn a bit about the people behind the goods.


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Alison Rose Screenprinted Goods

Columbus, Ohio

Alison rose was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2003 by Nicholas and Alison Nocera. They specialize in high quality hand-screen printed apparel, wallets, posters, and other goods.


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Domenic Fiorello Studios

Cleveland, Ohio

Domenic Fiorello Studios is a custom contemporary furniture company led by designer/craftsman, Domenic Fiorello. After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology's Furniture Design program, Domenic worked for a few furniture and fabrication companies. After a few years of this he grew disappointed by the products and the way things were being done in these shops. He then decided to open his doors for business in 2013. The priorities for the company were simple. DFS believes in creating meaningful, well-designed furniture that is made to last a life-time.


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Ellebrux

Cincinnati, Ohio

Maker Laura Brooks started Ellebrux in 2012 with a focus in painting, and has expanded to a full line carefully crafted jewelry, bookmarks, keychains, cards, and artwork. Laura loves to mix bold color with natural materials while exploring new ways of making


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Playful Fox & Co.

Jackson, Ohio

Playful Fox & Co.’s stylish pet products are handcrafted by Morgan Hollingshead in southern Ohio. Her creations are not only soft and beautiful, but vegan and earth-friendly. “I just love animals. What better way to show them love than with something special.”

Laura DrapacComment
Gift Guide: For The Naturalist

It looks like you’re thinking really hard about something… oh, gifts for your naturalist buddy, eh? We know the kind: They probably own a Subaru. It’s probably covered in stickers that say something like “I’d rather be camping”, or “Redwoods or bust”. Well, there’s more than just tents and paddle boards to gift your outdoors-y friend. Browse our naturalist gift guide for a bit of help!


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Chances are that your friend has a green thumb… or at least tries to grow a few herbs here and there. If they're the type who’s always mixing up cilantro and parsley then you’ve just found the ideal gift. Sorry Studio’s two-color herbs screen print will never let them forget.

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A more fashionably inclined naturalist wears their heart on their sleeve–or in this case, on their finger. The Circle Craft’s golden bronze cast succulent rings are gorgeous additions to any boho mama’s jewelry box.

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Even the most avid hikers have day jobs in the concrete jungle. Gift them a bit of nature with a Savvie Studio laser cut marbled monstera leaf magnet for their cubicle filing cabinet. It’s he perfect “plant” companion for low light settings. It literally cannot die… because it’s a magnet.

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If you’ve ever heard your friend refer to themself as a “plant mom”- here’s their gift… because not all babies are living, breathing humans.

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Because most of our shoppers live in the frozen tundra that is Northeastern Ohio, we know that you’ve got at least one friend who can’t stop talking about “that one time in Costa Rica”. Valley Cruise Press’ Flower Arrangements zine is chock full of fun and flowery collages by Ted Feighan. Now all you’ve gotta do is find a Mai Tai…

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The coolest part about Triple Threat Press’ plantable letterpress-printed seed paper cards is that when you give a card you also gift a garden! All the recipient needs to do is soak the paper in water until it’s flexible, then plant and water regularly. The gifted gardener could potentially grow Dwarf Godetia, Lemon Mint, Maiden Pinks, Forget-Me-Not, Catchfly, English Daisy, Sweet Alyssum, Spurred Snapdragon, Corn Poppy, and Black Eyed Susan!

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Whatbetter feeling in life is there than leaving society behind, hanging your hammock in a sun-dappled forest, and diving into a great book? Belt Publishing’s Rust Belt Arcana by Matt Stansberry, illustrated by David Wilson, could be exactly the read that you’re looking for. It’s part nature writing, part divination, and altogether a natural history of the Midwest as told through the time-tested structure of the tarot.


Find us in Lakewood every Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
We’ve also got extended holiday shopping hours every Sunday, 12pm-4pm through December 23!

 
Gift GuidesDave KoenComment
Here for you: Extended Holiday Shopping Hours in December
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Hey, we like you. We want you to be happy. You’ve treated us so well these past six months. So what the hell… We’ll stay open a few Sundays to extend your holiday shopping opportunities!

Visit us:

  • Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-6pm

  • Sundays through December 23–our last day open before Christmas–12pm-4pm

Oh, one other thing: We’ll wrap any gift purchased at Threefold for FREE! No need to thank us… no, really… stop it! You’ll make us blush!

Laura DrapacComment