Family business fits in fine in the tight knit arts and craft community in Gatlinburg
She creates functional art at BrandyWine Pottery in Gatlinburg, in the beautiful Smoky Mountains.
"Everyday you look outside and that's my inspiration. I spend a lot of time walking through the mountains watching the way trees grow, branches fall," Brandy Ward said.
Family business fits in fine with tight knit arts and crafts community in Gatlinburg. Emily Stroud and Jim Martin
Brandy Ward describes her pottery as unique.
"I like to sculpt my handles to make them look like a branch off of a tree and the leaves or flowers have fallen on to either the pitcher or the vase or mug, whatever I'm making. Then I like to take my glazes and I spray and layer them. I will use up to 12 glazes on every single piece that I make spraying layer over layer," she explained.
While Brandy is hard at work in her pottery studio, her mother is just a few steps away making ceramic tile. Marie Lennon likes leaves.
"Each tile is individually made using a real leaf pressed into the clay and hand cut. They're all hand cleaned. They're all food safe glazed and they're fired over 2000 degrees," Marie Lennon said.
Then right over there is Brandy's husband Jason, helping make the pottery and helping customers in the shop.
They all enjoy their family business, which isn't all that unusual here.
"There's over a 100 shops here in Gatlinburg with the arts and crafts community. It's going to be mothers and daughters. It's going to be sisters working together. So they're all family businesses with two and three generations of people doing the same thing," Jason Ward said.
The entire community is one big family.
"If someone comes in to our pottery shop and they're looking for a different type of pottery we'll help them find other pottery shops. If they're looking for a wood carver or they've heard about a famous painter we'll just tell them oh yeah that's so and so down the road," he said.
Oh, and there's another family member who isn't an official artist at the shop, yet.
"I have a new grand daughter here. She's six years old, she's not as new as she was. It's allowed me to have a lot of time with her and it's just the most wonderful thing," Marie said.
Brandy said, "I get to live my hobby everyday. If I were not doing this for a living I would be doing this at night when I got home from work."
She works every day doing something she loves with people she loves.