Catherine Leitz started her faith-based pottery business with hope to share love with others through her pottery. She puts her heart and care into her craft — a couple of her product lines are inspired by the two daughters she lost to miscarriage.
She shares, “My hope for people that are holding our pottery is just to feel, I guess, just a sense of peace, that they’re blessed, and that they feel that sense of love, that sense of, ‘This artist went the extra mile and loved into me while they were making this piece.’”
Meet Catherine Leitz: potter
Catherine shapes clay on a pottery wheel.
Catherine Leitz: I love depth. I’m drawn to depth. And so I didn’t want to go the easy route and do what was expected of a faith-based pottery business. I wanted to do something that was unexpected and re-imagined.
Catherine creates handmade pottery for her start-up, Nazareth Pottery.
I try and create my pieces in such a way that it can be as generic as a color, but there’s still inspiration coming from our faith that gets poured into that.
A variety of finished mugs are displayed on shelves in the pottery studio.
Really loving the idea of functional pottery also being art. It’s mostly why I create mugs and things you can use in your daily life, with a few vases here and there because flowers are daily life things. (Laughs)
So often, you know, in Scripture God is described as the potter, and we’re the clay. And to look and watch as my hands gently form the clay into something and just realize that God does that in a similar way, to our souls, but so much better. And just to kind of pray that the Lord will teach me how to mold gently, and to form gently, and to love into that piece enough to really bring it to life.
Catherine demonstrates how she shapes clay on the pottery wheel.
How it can go from wide to very tapered and very close.
Watching people throw always fascinates me, even though I do it myself, I still — I just love watching it.
Her piece of clay starts to fold in on itself.
We might have met our limit. It’s really thin up at the top. So then at this point I just allow it to collapse. It’s done.
Catherine shapes the piece of clay back into a ball.
She washes her hands and dries them on her apron.
And we went through two miscarriages in the past year and my two daughters have hugely impacted my art and my creating.
We have two lines right now that are based off of our two daughters in heaven. So this is our Rosalie mug. This is after our first daughter. So these are just little roses.
She shows off a small, rounded, white mug with delicate pink flowers and pale green leaves painted on.
And I’m currently working on our Liliana design. And my friend painted this beautiful painting of two lilies, and as soon as I got it I thought this is exactly how I want the lilies to look on our mugs.
She shows a light coral mug with the outline of white lilies etched into the sides of the mug.
I was at first afraid to share that journey on social media because I was so afraid of it coming across as attention-seeking. It was more, I think, the Holy Spirit saying, “Be bold. Love fiercely. Allow your story to touch other people’s lives, no matter how difficult it is, because there are other people that need to know that they’re not alone.” And so in kind of opening up about that, our community continued to grow.
Catherine cranks a dial on a machine in her studio.
This is one of those jobs that I oftentimes daydream, one day if the Lord gives us kids, I daydream about my kids having to do this and I won’t have to do it anymore. They’d be like “Mom, again? I don’t want to do that job again.”
My hope for people that are holding our pottery is just to feel, I guess, just a sense of peace, that they’re blessed, and that they feel that sense of love, that sense of, “This artist went the extra mile and loved into me while they were making this piece.”
My mom got me my first throwing wheel when I was, I think, eight, and it was this plastic Play-Doh brand throwing wheel. Once I ran out of the clay that it came with, I would go into our gardens and just forage for clay. (Laughs) I didn’t think at the time that I would fall in love with pottery, though.