by Liz Roush
An Interview With Christy Forrest: Christy has owned Painted Earth for nearly seventeen years, creating the studio from scratch. She continues to inspire her customers and employees every day!
1. Why did you want to open a pottery painting studio?
There are so many different reasons, but mainly, I wanted to open up my own business. I wasn’t sure what exactly, but I wanted more flexibility with my kids. I knew I wanted to open a business in the arts—something creative instead of accounting. I went to a pottery painting studio for my fortieth birthday, and when I went home that night, I couldn’t sleep because I knew that I wanted to open a studio of my own. Six months later, I opened Painted Earth. I had no experience in ceramics whatsoever, but I knew it would be a great business to have with my kids. So, I learned everything I could in ceramics, taking classes and talking to others along the way.
2. How long have you been working with pottery?
I’ve been working with pottery for almost seventeen years. As long as I’ve had the business.
3. What are some of your favorite memories from the studio?
There are so many! I have to say, it's all about meeting all the different customers. Celebrations and birthdays…just interactions with all the customers and seeing what comes out of the kiln. What people make is heartwarming!
4. What inspired Painted Earth's earthy, relaxed atmosphere?
Well, that was me. I knew that I wanted Painted Earth to be a place that anybody could come and feel relaxed, comfortable, and welcomed. I was looking for an artsy vibe that Temecula didn't have. Not just painting— but art. I wanted it to be for adults, too, not just a kids’ place. And the employees keep the vibe going, too. The people we hire get the vibe.
5. What is your favorite part about owning a pottery painting studio?
It really is the memories that are created here by our customers. When I think of all the businesses I could’ve owned, I like that this is a happy place to be.
6. What is your favorite color of glaze?
I would have to say 151, Light Blue Spruce, because it’s pretty and happy and light. It makes me feel good!
7. Where is your favorite place to travel when you aren't at the studio?
I’d have to say Italy because my daughter lives there. Also, it’s a beautiful country.
8. What's an item on your bucket list?
I want to be successful in my business so that I can retire and travel.
9. What is your favorite pottery sample at the studio?
There are so many…Probably the fruit plate that my son painted.
10. Who is your favorite artist?
I have so many different favorites! I would probably say Van Gogh. I love his landscapes and his brushstrokes.
The photo above is from 1998 when Christy opened the first Painted Earth in Temecula, California.