An Interview with Andi of Good Hearted Woman
Andi is the heart and soul behind Good Hearted Woman. I met Andi over a year ago at a local coffee shop in Denver to talk about my dreams of bringing in Good Hearted Woman to create the bowls for the Ritual Kit. What I thought was going to be a quick coffee meeting turned into both of us talking excitedly about our dreams for over an hour. I have loved getting to know and work with Andi. You can see the quality and love she puts into each of our bowls. I am so grateful and honored to support and collab with Good Hearted Woman!
I was so excited to be able to visit her studio and see her in action! Here is a little interview that I did with her to learn more about her journey as an artist and female business owner.
How did you get into ceramics?
My journey started quite randomly. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to take a 5 week adult evening ceramics class with her at a local rec center. Being a sucker for learning new mediums, I immediately said yes. A month before the class was to start, she ended up moving away, and I was left sad and not wanting to take the class alone. Instead of bailing I told myself “ No, Andi. Just take the class. Don’t be afraid to do something alone.” For 5 weeks, I drove 30 minutes every Monday night to my first pottery class, and it changed my whole trajectory in life. I would have never guessed 5 years later I’d be quitting my day job of 10 years to pursue ceramics full time. I should add between those 5 weeks and going full time was 4 more years of community center classes, long weekends in open studio hours, finding my own studio and working before and after my 9-5 and weekends.
Tell me about the name: Good Hearted Woman.
Growing up, my dad often played outlaw country on the record player. Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson became a part of my soul. I picked up a cassette tape a couple years ago that I kept in my car. One morning while driving to work, I popped in the tape. “Good Hearted Woman” was mid-hook, and I thought to myself, “I’m going to put this song title in my back pocket for awhile.” A few weeks later, I found myself searching for the perfect name to stamp on my pots and there it was—GHW.
What is your favorite thing about working with clay?
I had an epiphany a few years ago: I really love a good process. I realized this when I was looking back at college and thinking about my photography degree, pondering why I didn’t continue to pursue it—it was because I loved the physical darkroom process more than I loved taking the actual photos. I think this is why I feel at home with ceramics—it’s a perfect mix of precise chemistry and imperfection.
Pottery truly is a special artform—turning literal earth into objects for everyday use. What a privilege we have as potters. I'm not sure what medium connects you more to the world than that.
What have you found unexpected about owning your own business?
The amount of time I spend doing other things besides the actual making. Sometimes I think people have a skewed idea of what a full-time artist does all day. Lots of people are like, “Oh how cute! You get to play in a studio all day and make fun things.” It’s actually way more work than most can imagine. I literally do everything. I am the maker, accountant, janitor, shipper, buyer, seller and marketer. I do love it though, I think if all I was doing was making it might get kind of boring and I wouldn't be learning nearly as much on the daily.
What does a moment of pause mean and/or look like for you?
I can often get lost in my thoughts as I'm making [pottery], or I'm totally avoiding thoughts by listening to a book or podcast. I guess a moment of pause for me is active meditation, being present in the now without the noise of entertainment, past “should haves” or “future fears”. To get my mind there, I usually have to repeat in my brain what I’m actually doing at that moment until my brain slows down. Literally saying to myself “I’m making a mug. I’m making a mug. I’m making a mug.”
Do you have any favorite daily, weekly, or monthly rituals in your daily life?
Most days I like to wake up early-ish, play some meditation-type music on the stereo (No I don't meditate but have tried, too), and make a slow drip coffee that I won’t actually drink. I know it sounds weird—I love the ritual of making coffee, but I really don’t like drinking it. My husband always says, “You like the concept of drinking coffee and having a warm drink to hold.” YEP, that’s me. We sit in our living room and chat for a bit before moving on to our day.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Andi for the beauty and love that you put into each and every bowl that is a part of our ritual kit. Merigold is so honored to be working with you!
Lots of love!