One of the most calming and serene homes we visited while shooting for The New Bohemian Handbook, was that of Heather Culp (co-founder of Mercado Sagrado). Nestled against a canyon hill with views of the Pacific, we enjoyed her treasure trove of collected handmade wares. Sitting on her kitchen counter was a small EMK mug. Since we believe that objects made with love, care and good materials bring those qualities with them wherever they go, we were curious of it’s story. Therefore, we caught up with Erin, while she prepared for this weekend’s Mercado, to learn more about the hands which contributed to the casita’s good vibes.
Born to an outdoor adventure seeking family on the east coast, Erin was no stranger to communing with nature. A serious skier, she spent nine months of the year on various slopes from Oregon to Europe. Her time on the mountain was time spent disconnected from the world, focusing inward. It was her “creative” time.
After graduation she moved to LA for a tech job, but felt disconnected from her creative side. Mostly, she missed what time on the mountains gave her – space to go inward and create. A friend at the time invited her to a tea ceremony. She accepted the invitation and the result completely altered her life course. Consequently, the tea world led her to the ‘Temple of Mediclaytion’, a ceramics studio on the historic Art Block in Venice. Finally, she had found her “mountain” – in clay. After a few years of studying her new passion, she left her 8yr corporate career and built a studio in her backyard.
Hence, now a day in the life of Erin Michelle Karr is much different. Days start early sitting for tea, a morning meditation practice, or settling in with a cup of Canyon Coffee. She takes time to feel grounded and settled in before walking out to her backyard studio to throw. Music sets the mood for the day.
She says on her inspiration, “My house is an open door with a constant flow of creative souls stopping by that keep me inspired and motivated me to continue my process. The other day my friend, Lo Fang, came over and sat in between my garden and my studio to play the cello for an hour while I was working making 70 tea bowls -by far one of the most magical studio sessions I’ve had to date. In the mix of it all I take an hour of ‘me time’ to get some physical activity in whether it’s a sunset hike, yoga, walk to the ocean or going for a quick surf. It’’s really important to get the blood flowing and mind free. To end the day there’s nothing better than making some warm food from my garden and hanging with friends.”
Additionally, inspiration comes from travels to Nicaragua and road trips to Alabama Hills, Joshua Tree and Big Sur. As a result, Erin says that when taking in these environments, “It inhibits a powerful energy that really grounds you and appreciate how beautiful this world is. Most importantly there is no service there so it truly allows you to disconnect to from the world and take time to reset. It’s surreal. People and spaces are my daily inspiration. I’m so grateful to have an incredible and inspiring community surrounding me that feeds my creative side. And of course the mountains profoundly affect me and my energy. I feel most at home and rooted around them. They are an environment that has literally shaped me into who I am and the work I create.”
Thank you Erin for sharing your story!