Katherine Hanks McAlister and Stephanie Anne Martin originally met as neighbors in Chattanooga, TN and spent most of their time together rock climbing and attending weekly pottery classes. It was at those pottery classes where they recognized their love and talent for ceramics could be a forever-hobby or they could work to create something more permanent and serious. In the fall of 2014, they combined their names (Stephanie Anne and Katherine Hanks), to reflect the collaborative nature of their business, and Annie Hanks Ceramic Studio and Gallery was born.
“We worked well together and each had qualities that complimented one another,” says this creative duo. “It was clear we would work well as a team and that our individual aesthetics could effortlessly merge into one. We are good friends and business partners that have found a balance and the ability to make both those relationships work as one.”
It’s a unique collaboration rarely seen in the artworld. Stephanie and Katherine compare the way they work to the way musicians work: “vocals and instrumentals tend to compliment and enhance one another, much like the ideas, visions, and processes of our collaborative work.”
Their “jobs” are not separate pieces that are combined in an end product. Instead, each are involved with every single part of the process, and more often than not, work alongside one another from development to finishing the pieces. Each process is time consuming and requires great attention to detail. The fact they work so effortlessly together in such a detail-oriented business is something they take great pride in.
Inspired by the small business network and relationships, Chattanooga was a natural location. It’s a town that supports small businesses and continues to thrive for that very reason.
Annie Hanks style is best described as modernist, with clean lines and a minimalist approach, ideal for anyone who appreciates the marriage of art and functionality. Dressed up or down, pieces can grace the tables of a wedding party or fit perfectly at a bonfire with beer and bourbon.
Surrounded by the Tennessee landscape, the duo is creatively inspired by the natural beauty of the rolling mountains, rippling water, and changing foliage of the seasons.
“This region inspires our work in more ways than we probably give credit.”
Both Stephanie and Katherine are avid travelers. “We are both energized by exploring various landscapes and allowing ourselves to be moved and changed by different experiences and spaces.” It’s also why their love of the outdoors and nature can be seen in the space that is their studio spilling over with beautiful natural light, soft textures and a warm inviting ambiance overall.
You can purchase Annie Hanks ceramics online @ anniehanksceramics.com or in their studio/gallery space. Pieces are also available atWildflower Tea Shop and Apothecary in Chattanooga.
Photography by Jamie Smialek