Moonbeams & Fairy Tales & Wind Chimes

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by Kristina Domitrovich // photos by Lindsay Pace

Growing up in a family of artists, Batina Elliott remembers music always playing in the background. Eventually, she’d root her business in that memory. Little Wing Pottery’s name is a nod to her parents; and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s popular song (though her father prefers Stevie Ray Vaughan’s cover).

“They were the people that gave me that facet of my creativity,” she said. “So it’s just kind of a nod to them and who they are as people.”

Having been raised in an environment that fostered her creativity, she tries to mimic that now that she’s a mother of two boys. She got her first pottery wheel as a Christmas gift the year her oldest was born, so for her, pottery and being a mother has always intersected. In her pottery studio behind her house, there is a shelf devoted to her children’s projects, along with a drawer filled with their crafting supplies.

“They’ve got their cookie cutters and their rolling pins, coloring books and stuff,” she said. “There are a handful of neighborhood kids, and they know exactly where their stuff is … They can have this space and just run wild and explore their own creativity.”

She graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in art history and plans to be an art teacher. Now, she can carry out that passion with her own children, while being a nearly full-time potter. In her studio, she said history has shown one idea tumbling into the next.

“The more I’m out here,” she said gesturing, “the more it just snowballs into something new.”

Over time, she stumbled into her signature pieces: wind and rain chimes. She said there are plenty of Mississippi potters to make dinnerware and such, but she wanted to create her own totally unique look. Originally, these pieces only used all-white elements, but a commissioned piece led her to try glazing.

“I think glaze just might be my kryptonite. I would go without eating,” she joked, “I’ll talk myself out of, ‘I don’t need a shirt’ or whatever, but I’ll spend money on glazes because the possibilities are endless.”

Her signature colors are bright and fun.

“I like bright colors,” she said. “All of the fun colors are kid friendly and whimsical.”

Little Wing Pottery started wholesaling last year, and Elliott said the busy months are around Mother’s Day and the summer, and again nearing Christmas. During her slower seasons, she said she’ll prepare by stocking her studio with various pieces to be assembled later on. Tuesdays through Fridays while her boys are at school, she is in her studio; reserving the weekend for family time with her husband and 14- and 10-year-old boys. She isn’t sure what the future holds for her business, and she “just roll(s) with the flow” each year, trying to soak up as much time with her kids as possible.

“These boys are going to be in my house five more minutes,” she said.

 

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