Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Heidi Fahrenbacher

January 11, 2016

Heidi Fahrenbacher | UncommonGoods

Our makers never fail to motivate us, encourage our creativity, and fill us with inspiration. So, when a new design enters our assortment, we’re always excited to learn more about the people behind the product.

What gets an artist going and keeps them creating is certainly worth sharing, and every great connection starts with a simple introduction. Meet Heidi Fahrenbacher, the artist behind our new Four Seasons Hanging Planter.

Four Seasons Hanging Planter | UncommonGoods

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Between my sophomore and junior year of college I apprenticed for a full-time potter. He made pottery all day, listened to NPR, and sold his work throughout the country, and I told him that is what I wanted to do with my life.

What was the most exciting thing about becoming a professional artist?

The most exciting thing is when I stop and think that people pay me for my drawings on my pottery! I’ve been drawing since a child and to think my drawings on a piece of my pottery resonate with someone so much that they will pay for it is amazing. It’s crazy. It motivates me to do my best work.

Heidi Fahrenbacher at her kiln | UncommonGoods

What does your typical day in the studio look like?

My studio is 4 miles from my house, at my parents’ house. They had an old chicken coop they weren’t using, so my partner and I finished it, and added heat and electricity. My parents are in their late 70’s, so I usually have a cup of coffee with them around 9. Then I head out to the coop. I have different schedules for each day depending where I am in the making process. One day I could be casting, the next finishing, firing the kiln, or glazing. I try not to waste time, so if I am waiting for pots to dry I am working on something else. I usually work until 5-ish unless I have a project that needs to be completed, but even then the latest I work is 7.

Is there a trinket, talisman, or other inspirational object you keep near? If so, what is it and what does it mean to you?

My late sister-in-law made me an apron when I started taking pottery classes in high school. The fabric has a universe pattern with iron-on moons and stars. She used to sew goose clothes (remember those?) and sell them at craft fairs. She was a talented seamstress. She died unexpectedly when I was a senior in college and never saw me become a professional artist. I wore the apron so long it is threadbare, but I keep it to remind me of her and her encouragement.

Imagine you just showed your work to a kindergartner for the first time. What do you think they would say?

They would giggle with delight! They would say they like all the little houses.

What quote or mantra keeps you motivated?

I have a greeting card that hangs in my studio that says: “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” —H. Jackson Brown Jr.


  • Reply Teri standiford January 13, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Very nice article. I was very excited to see someone who I have met and whose coffe cup graces my kitchen in a catalog that I like!

  • Reply Jennifer Creighton January 13, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    This is wonderful! I’m lucky in that I can call Heidi a friend of mine. She is a lovely person and I’m always thrilled to see her at shows. Congratulations, Heidi! Keep up the spectacular whimsy of your work. 🙂

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