Ceramics Monthly: How did you come up with the idea for the Mobile Makers project? How are you outfitting the trailer, and what does your itinerary look like for the trip?
Sarah Anderson: Mobile Makers was born out of a conversation about nomadic lifestyles, ceramic careers, and backpacking through national parks. My friend Marret Metzger, my dog Pip, and I will be trekking across the Southwestern United States for the month of March in 2022. A bright blue 1960 Serro Scotty Sportsman trailer will be our traveling home on wheels, accompanied by a small Brent A pottery wheel to share our love for the craft. Our trio will begin the journey in the great state of Texas at the end of February, moving through the Four Corners region and into Nevada, finishing in Sacramento, California, for the conference organized by the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts at the end of March.
Marret and I are full-time ceramic artists currently based out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Ceramics is typically a stationary medium and art practice, due to the need for studio access and heavy equipment. Our goal is to explore creating outside of the studio, and expand our ceramic community through personal connections we make on the road. We both have a love for exploration in the outdoors and for combining this passion with our ceramic work. Similar to being pushed creatively, we both enjoy the challenge of backpacking in the mountains and taking multiple-day hiking trips in order to fully immerse ourselves in nature.
A trip to the Colorado mountains in October 2020 sparked the fire for the possibilities of in-person ceramic networking opportunities across state lines. I purchased the trailer not a week after initial discussions had begun, and started planning. The interior of the trailer is currently being gutted and repainted. We are replacing floors and adding new walls behind a new sink and stovetop. There is a manual foot-pump water system being added for the sink, sitting between the full-size bed and the table and seats that fold down into a twin bed. The wheel will fit in the back of our Toyota FJ Cruiser and will be powered using a Jackery Portable Power Station and solar generator, taking us completely off the grid. Firing work on the trip will be a breeze with the help of kilnshare.com, an online resource to find available kilns to rent across the nation.
There was an incredible amount of time and energy needed for planning before hitting the road, with additional considerations required for bringing a pottery wheel along. The van life interested me; I wanted to create a mobile life. Working for myself gives me a flexible daily schedule, but I wanted to push myself to explore and network outside of my home state.
The trip is meant to bring the ceramic community together across state lines, and celebrate in the final destination of Sacramento, at the annual NCECA conference. If you have a favorite local art gallery, a craftsman community you want to highlight, any hidden hiking spots to share, or just want to say hi, feel free to email or message Mobile Makers online. If you want to tag along with Mobile Makers on our journey, subscribe to the email newsletter through the website and follow our social-media accounts for updates, fundraiser information, and more.
Thanks for being here; keep playing with dirt!
1 Marret Metzger throwing on the Mobile Makers’ wheel. 2 Marret Metzger holding one of her mugs. 3 Sarah Anderson holding one of her mugs. 4 Sarah Anderson preparing to throw on the wheel, while her dog Pip looks on.