Meet the Maker - Sara Pilchman

Meet the Maker - Sara Pilchman

Sara Pilchman Ceramics

Meet Sara Pilchman
Sara Pilchman was born and raised in Long Beach and has been making pottery since the age of 5. Sara currently works at Angels Gate Cultural Center as their Exhibitions Coordinator while managing the non-profit’s ceramics program.

Read her story below

How’d you get your start and where are you headed?

I started making pottery when I was five years old and never stopped creating! As I started teaching pottery classes, I began selling my own work (my first shop being Made by Millworks!) and very slowly built up the products I now sell across the country.

My big break came in 2019 when I did my first trade show. Within the first day I had nine new retailers, and a year and a half later Sara Pilchman Ceramics is sold in over 70 shops. The work hasn’t slowed, but I’m finally starting to plan for a dream life I never anticipated with this little clay business. 

“It’s not easy being both an agent of chaos and a business owner, but it certainly keeps it exciting!"

What’s your work day like? Describe your work space. 

My typical day starts at about noon and ends around 4am. Typically my to do list goes as follows: wake up and check whatever social media/email messaging I’ve gotten through the morning, rush to ship orders before shipping centers close, make any pre-5pm calls to suppliers or shops, get to my Angels Gate Cultural Center Studio to do any glazing or firing work before I get locked out, home to wrap orders while binging horror movies with my roommate, then around midnight I start making new work on my wheel in the back patio when it’s finally cool and quiet (or whenever the teen living above me stops screaming at his video games). I’ve come to realize I get my best work done when it feels like a race. While that’s maybe not so good for my blood pressure, the excitement of that kind of schedule is clearly my happy place [hello fellow Aries].  

My shipping center (aka my room) is filled with surrealist monsters and absurdist horror. My roommate and I met when we were 19 and counselors together at an arts camp.  We bonded over our love of scary stories and Bjork, and our apartment definitely reflects that.  While I try to stay frugal the one thing we both love to splurge on is art. 

What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge?

I’ve been educated in the arts, starting with piano lessons as a toddler, attending a boarding arts high school, and getting an art degree. I’ve been absolutely spoiled with the amount of knowledge I’ve received, but to be blunt I’m not particularly creative. What I’ve come to realize is that what is more important than either knowledge or creativity is curiosity. For me, all the knowledge I have and all the creativity I may be lacking only does so much for my successes. Curiosity will keep the work exciting and the business growing!

Describe your perfect Long Beach day. 

Long Beach is my hometown and growing up on the east side of LBC definitely gives me an appreciation for the little parks around town. The El Dorado Nature Center is absolutely underrated and incredibly nostalgic for me (how does the visitor center still smell the same as it did on field trips 20 years ago??). It’s a lovely quiet place to take a long walk.

"The wide world of Long Beach bars is a true experience. The people of Long Beach know how to have a great time and my favorite thing to do is adventure with new people I meet while out!"

What are you watching/listening to?

In keeping it spooky, I spend most of my time loading kilns and listening to Last Podcast on the Left, or throwing on the wheel while watching a variety of true crime docs.  While horror is my go to I’m truly a film snob, with a Criterion subscription and everything.  Superstar may be my favorite comedy, but don’t get me started on the Czech New Wave. 

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