Lauren Rider, 32, of Rider Designs, a South Philadelphia ceramics studio.

Her start

Rider studied crafts at the University of the Arts, and has been throwing pottery for 17 years. Recently, she quit her day job and went full time with her bowls, pitchers, and planters in bold graphic designs and with a line of ceramic- and-sterling-silver jewelry.

"You can't just wait to be ready - you've got to just do it, and then work really hard at it," she said of the leap into a full-time venture. "I was ready to move on to the next journey." It's still a one-woman show, though. "It's just me, in my basement."

Design inspiration

"Anything can be an inspiration, like fashion. Years ago, I did henna tattoos on the Ocean City boardwalk for a really long time, so a lot of my pattern-making comes from that. But I started doing recently a floral series."


Rider does pieces in batches, and can get 50 to 100 done in a week. She's limited mostly by the size of her small, personal kiln. "I use porcelain. Everything is wheel-thrown. I let it dry and then paint on a black underglaze, and then I do a doodle and start forming a radial design that just evolves, or I will draw out a floral pattern in pencil and then trace over it with the black underglaze. It's all evolving. I guess you could say it depends on what mood I'm in."

Next up

Rider's preparing as much inventory as she can ahead of the fall craft shows and holiday gift season, and will attend her first wholesale market, in Brooklyn, this year. For now, you can find her things at Ritual Ritual, Art Star, and Nice Things Hand Made in Philadelphia, and Label Local in Haddonfield - and any time on