Our friendship started when Mercedes’ reached out to me and asked if we could meet up and talk about our pregnancy losses. She learned that I had recently lost a pregnancy and she was still processing her own same heartbreaks.
——-Our daughters Daisy and Poppy + Mercedes and James’ son Conrad.——
We first met through Mercedes’ art gallery. Over the next few months we continued to connect through creating art and working at the gallery together.
It was a miracle when we each became pregnant in the same month and had our baby boys only four days apart. It was a blessing to have each other during those months of uncertainty, fear, and hope. Once our boys were both born we were able to experience the joys of parenting alongside each other.
As artists and best friends, we wanted to create a collaborative project together. 18 months ago we tried platters with wildfires painted on them, but they cracked in the kiln’s fire. Shortly after starting the platters my husband got reassigned and we had to move to North Carolina. At this point we decided to put a hold on the platters.
Fast forward to August 2018, when I found out I’d be visiting Florida and could work on art with Mercedes. Originally I just planned to go work on tile paintings, but one night I had a dream about painting on Mercedes’ mugs. I messaged her the next morning to tell her the idea. We were both overjoyed to try a project like this.
Mercedes LOVES to make mugs. She loves creating functional artwork that is used everyday and part of a well-crafted life. She believes in a slow, nature and earth-inspired lifestyle and strives to share that through her ceramic artwork.
I love to paint scenes of wildfires, inspired by nature’s process of destruction and renewal. The transformation and power of the landscape is what I love to share in my artwork. My wildfire landscape scenes are symbols of facing our fears and challenges with faith and hope.
Combining both our love of working with ceramics—taking mud and firing it to create a beautiful and functional piece of art—and the love of what nature offers us in life lessons, we present our first series of Gold Fire Mugs.
These mugs are an allegory of our own life experiences. We start as malleable clay, are formed into a shape by the push and pull of life. We then undergo intense heat—life challenges—and come out of the fire a strong form to be used to nourish and serve others.
These cups went through transformation just like Mercedes and I have each gone through. We are on the other side of some of our worst days. We see the gold in life. We are stronger and more resilient than before.
These cups are a culmination of our friendship, our life experiences, and creating art with the elements of nature we each find inspiring.
We hope they are an inspiration to your everyday; a reminder that transformation can happen each day.
MERCEDES + ANNASTASHA