The Earth Alters Crew never ceases to surprise me. Their work is prolific! They spend hours, days, weeks in their studio covered in clay to share some truly inspirational work. Tom and Jasper are perfectly balanced between the Yin and Yang working together to create the kind of work you are happy to use everyday. Tea has always had a strong connection to Ye Ming Zhu; so when I discovered this dynamic duos work with Teaware, possibilities were endless. We started collaborating by creating cups that glow like the galaxy, and now have unlocked a plethora of new ideas! Here is just a taste of what is to come from the Earth Alters Crew.
Presenting the Earth Alters Crew
Earth Alters is a pottery collective based out of Santa Cruz California. It was started by Tom Watson and Jasper Marino in early 2013. Their focus has been to create functional pottery for the community, using sacred geometry and calligraphy to decorate their works. They hope to inspire others and perpetuate beauty in every day life.
Jasper Ormond Marino is potter living and working in Santa Cruz California. He grew up surrounded by art and the outdoors. In his upbringing, water colors, sketch pads, and clay, took the place of video games, TV, and cell phones. He feels the absence of these technologies was essential in the development of his creativity. Another essential element were his teachers who helped cultivate his passion for the arts. This passion has brought him much excitement for life, and through his work he shares this awe and excitement with you.
Thomas Frederick Watson
Thomas Frederick Watson was born, raised, and continues to live in Santa Cruz, CA where he works as a potter with his close friends and community.
To Tom “Community is key, My focus in this time is to live together with the people around me, the people I see. To work in collaboration with the community.” He goes on to say. “If we want to make a change, assuming we all do, we cannot go on avoiding each other to make profit for ourselves. We could work together. I see this working much better.” He sees community collaboration equaling positive co-creation. “So lend a hand across the land or sea and see how far we can stretch a global community.”
Getting to know the Earth Alters Crew
What creatively fuels your inspiration?
Jasper: Gratitude, nature of all kinds, and humans which are a big inspiration for functional pottery. We make this stuff to be used in every day life.
Thomas: The mystery of breath, redwood trees, the elements, the ancients, old pottery. Ever since I looked up the definition of inspiration in the dictionary, to get inspired has been as easy as breathing, for that is the definition. To inspire is to breath in, to fill the lungs. So everything is inspiring, constantly. And so, everything inspires me to keep moving, to keep co-creating, collaborating.
What got you into your craft?
Jasper: I was introduced to ceramics at Santa Cruz High in the end of my senior year. I would say it was that first glaze, fire, unload; and what happened after I brought the first finished pieces home, got to spend some time with them, and use them! I remember having floods of ideas and was so ready to learn more, and make more pots. I was hooked!
Thomas: Since I was young, I always knew that I wanted to work with my hands. There was a moment when I came to a fork in the road. Either a welding job with good pay, or a labor of love with clay. The choice was simple.
Where to do see your work expanding to?
Jasper: I see my work getting more specialized and accessible as I learn to produce with more efficiency. I would like to be able to be living the ceramic process in full.
Thomas: Every crack and crevasse of thee entire planet! Clay is the glue of the earth! 🙂
What interests you about Ye Ming Zhu?
Jasper:First, it glows! The legend of the Dragon and the Pearl really resonates with me since I was born year of the Dragon. Its real cool to see the Pearl and Dragon represented all around; when I see it, to reach up and grab my pendent and feel like I’ve got the glowing pearl, wow! I love how it came into my life and the people it has connected me with and continues to.
I would love to learn more about the process in which its made. We have put YMZ through the high fire kiln a 2300 degrees and it has come through glowing as well as not. We believe it to be the firing atmosphere. The pots with the reduced glow YMZ where in a part of the kiln that had an oxidation atmosphere. The tea cups with the glow were in a reduction atmosphere. Lots of fun!!
Thomas: It’s glowing! I have seen in glow brilliantly in dreams. And it represents a type of love and mystery that I can believe with or without seeing.
Any words of inspiration or wisdom?
Jasper:Follow you heart do what you love!
Thomas: Let’s do this together! We got this! Ya Bud. I support you. We love we. We will carry on, I promise. Encourage the children.