Writer Katherine Braden
I follow Christiane Barbato across her backyard and into a small white hut. Inside, dozens of unglazed clay pots and bowls rest upside-down on shelves, waiting. It’s bright and dusty, and the air smells earthy, like dirt and sunshine. A long table stands in the middle. Christiane turns to me, smiling.
“This is my studio,” she says.
For Christiane, it all officially started a few years ago. Unhappy with the plates she had at home, she decided to make her own. She’d been making pottery since high school, but it had always been a hobby. Once friends saw her homemade plates, however, they asked if they could order some for themselves.
With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business, Christiane sensed an opportunity. She sold to her friends and started a website, putting her work online. In 2013, she relocated to a house in Phoenix. But there was a problem: The door of her new home was a nasty shade of green. Undeterred, Christiane painted...