Peety Interviews is a series that aims to highlight unique artists of all types and their creative process while learning something from and about them along the way.
The Little Red Door is run by the insanely talented Toni, whose personality and sense of humor is just as awesome as her fantastic clay goods. She is celebrating 7 years on Etsy (holy crap!) and is generously offering 30% off orders through the end of March with checkout code ‘AWESOME.’ Score! So get to it and check out her shop on Etsy.
Give us the skinny on The Little Red Door.
How did you come to make your iconic clay houses?
I was about to start cleaning up from a day’s pottery work. On the table before me were little lumps of clay and I noticed one faintly resembled a house. I squared up the edges and etched a roof line & door into the front, and voilà: my very first house was created. Then I made all my other clay scraps into houses and lined them up in front of me. I remember looking at these tiny houses for a very long time and thinking “Hmm.” And then I thought “I’m going to make a million of these.”
How did you settle on the name, The Little Red Door?
I wanted a brand name not necessarily indicating ceramics as I wanted the option to sell any of my creations under it regardless of their format. Nothing like “clay ___ by ___.” It took me forever to decide. The first houses I made were all glazed similarly and when they came out of the kiln my friend squealed how cute they were with “their little red doors.” That stuck in my head and I went with it. Looking back I have to laugh hard and say a little prayer of thanks that I did not go with “Handmade For You by ToniLou”.
What is your dream piece to create and what has been your favorite so far?
I have no real dream pieces in mind. I’ve always been happiest creating off the top of my head and seeing what results. Before I made miniatures, I was first a potter. Years ago I created a dish perforated with hundreds of holes, for fruit or just display, glazed in green-blue. I sold it but wish to this day I’d kept it. With miniatures my favourites have been the ninjas, the televisions, and the record players. Perhaps they’ll make a comeback this year.
Do you have any creative routines or patterns?
I have to make time to create, around my M-F day job. This usually means working for 10-12 hours straight on a weekend. While I create I like to listen to music or have movies playing in the background, and a few tasty beverages. Snacks are important.
If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lumpia. When I make it I like to say LOOOOOM-PEEEEEE-AAAAHHHHH in a loud voice and gesture to it theatrically when my kids walk by, so they realize I’m making it and realize how I sacrifice hours of my life to make mountains of these fiddly, yummy crispy-licious, fattening things that they will devour in 5 minutes flat.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My grandmother told me to try not to bother people, and to always offer your help, and keep your receipts. And, BE ON TIME FOR EVERYTHING.
5-word review of the last movie you saw.
Colin Firth Kicks Much Ass
(Kingsman: The Secret Service)
Are you still playing Draw Something?
I only play with 2 people now! Trivia Crack’s where it’s at.