Spot the Shop: For Sarah Sunshine Pottery, the art is 'magic'

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Sarah Vekasi makes all the pottery herself in Sarah Sunshine Pottery.

Sarah Vekasi wasn’t always a potter, but as soon as she sat down at her first wheel, she fell in love with it.

Originally from Montana, Vekasi began her career as a chaplain. After moving to Black Mountain from West Virginia, she decided to take a pottery class.

Vekasi said she enjoyed her chaplain work, but she found something different in pottery.

“I love doing chaplaincy, but it can be strenuous on the heart,” Vekasi said. “Pottery is really relaxing in the heart, so I took a class just to see. I always wanted to try it and I loved it.”

Her first pottery class was in 2010 and she said she’s made her full-time living with pottery for the past decade.

She purchased a pottery studio from a retiring potter where she made and sold her work for the majority of her pottery career under the name Sarah Sunshine Pottery. The name comes from a nickname her mother gave her as a child.

Just last year Vekasi opened a storefront for Sarah Sunshine Pottery on Cherry Street.

Sarah Sunshine Pottery is located at 105 Cherry St.

“It’s been an incredible joy,” Vekasi said. “It’s been really, really fun. Coming around the bend for the Christmas season, which is a relief and sort of an exquisite excitement. I did it. I made it.”

Vekasi said she was not prepared for just how much product she would need to stock her new brick-and-mortar store.

“I didn’t know if I could make enough pottery,” Vekasi said. “I make as much as I humanly can. Every single day I either make pots or glaze pots and some days I do both. Days that I work in the store I still load a kiln and then unload a kiln and then put handles on things in the morning or the evening.”

Vekasi said she thinks it will get easier now that she has an understanding of the amount of inventory she needs to keep in her store.

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She said her goal is to get people excited about her work and have them come back year after year to get the latest variants and colors.

“I want to learn from the ebbs and the flows of things to balance out my production schedule a little better so it’s not as heavy of a workload as it was this year,” Vekasi said. “Just build on the sort of community and the community relations so people get excited to have a collection of Sarah Sunshine Pottery.”

Sarah Vekasi said, for her, making pottery is "magic."

Vekasi described coming by her studio and storefront as “luck” and said she is grateful for the community and tourists who make her business possible.

She said she has no plans to stop anytime soon and hopes to be in business for a long while.

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For Vekasi, the love of her business stems from the love of her art.

“Turning stuff straight from the earth into a vessel that will hold the very stuff that nourishes us,” Vekasi said. “To make from clay to bowl to cup to chalice, etcetera. It’s like magic.”