Meet the Maker – Calvander Company


Tell us a little about yourself and how you started Calvander Company?

I always had a passion for creating things and revitalizing old treasures, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to fully explore it now. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in May of 2016 I dove right into making. I had all these visions built up of things I’d wanted to make but hadn’t had the time. Having just finished up a studio art ceramics course before graduation, I had a new passion for wheel thrown pottery and was fortunate enough to inherit a wheel and studio space from a close friend. That’s when the idea for the company started to emerge!

“Learning is one of the best forms of fuel for my creativity”

Who or what inspires you and your creative process?

I’m constantly inspired by music. I always have music playing in the studio, and as I discover new artists I’m motivated and inspired by the unfamiliar sounds. Unfamiliarity helps to keep my mind bustling with new ideas. Understanding more about a complicated subject, taking into account a new mindset, or simply listening to people’s experiences that have been much different from mine all work to inspire me. Learning is one of the best forms of fuel for my creativity.


Calvander Company2 2

What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?

I’m a night owl and tend to feel more inspiration when most people are winding down, so I if I can’t be at my studio I like to take that solitary time to log everything I’m feeling inspired by and sketch out new visions for products. Textures, patterns, and color schemes are all examples of elements I include in these sketches and collages, which function as helpful tools for wrangling fresh inspirations into fully formed product designs.

“Right now my favorite product from my collection is a series of monochromatic matte glaze vases in my ceramic line”

Tell us about your favorite product from your collection.

Right now my favorite product from my collection is a series of monochromatic matte glaze vases in my ceramic line. I’ve only just started to acquire the skill to throw taller pieces so I’m proud of these larger vessels. My experimentation with glaze techniques using different values of matte glazes has started to become a signature look for me which is what I’ve been working toward for over a year now.

IMG_9541 2

Where is on of your favorite places in Durham?

One of my favorite places in Durham is the suspension bridge at Eno River State Park. I’ve always been attracted to the combination of industrial and natural. The simple graphic lines of the planks and cables contrasted by the beautifully chaotic foliage and organic landscape is really inspiring to me.

Shop Calvander Company on Etsy and at the January Patchwork Market at Fullsteam Brewery and follow on Instagram @calvanderco and Facebook @CalvanderCompany

Calvander Company
Kara Thornton Founder of Calvander Company


Leave a Reply