KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville is known as "The Maker City" among many other nicknames, and it's not hard to see why. There are so many creative and compassionate artists in the area, who care about the community.
Ellie Kotsianas-Christner is one of those makers. She is the artist behind Bug Pottery. She spends her days making art pieces and pottery for homes, outdoors and display pieces. All of them have her signature ladybug somewhere on them.
She said her family gave her the nickname "ladybug" while she was growing up because she was small. She has always enjoyed creating and started doing art full-time in 2014.
The East Tennessee State University alum went to school to study advertising and art. She said when she came back home to Knoxville, no one hired her for advertising jobs, so that's when she decided to pursue pottery full-time.
She knows how lucky she is to have her career, and even to be alive. When Kotsianas-Christner was 12 years old, she developed a severe staph infection that threatened her life. She was in a coma for three weeks. Doctors weren't sure if she would make it out alive, but she pulled through with the help of prayers and the staff at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
She is so thankful for the people who helped pull her back into health, she donates a portion of her sales to East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
Kotsianas-Christner offers classes at Mighty Mud in North Knoxville. She is passionate about finding inspiration in everyday things, like household items and the outdoors. She also loves to interact with and meet customers.
If you would like to buy a piece of Bug Pottery, you can head over to bugpottery.com.