Sarah and Curt of Pratt and Hebert create everyday objects intended for daily use. Influenced by whimsy and the ins and outs of everyday life, Sarah creates beautiful, functional art that you'll love to see sitting on your countertop.
Tell us a little bit about yourself + how you got started with Pratt and Hebert! Pratt and Hebert is a collaborative design studio that I run with my husband, Curt. We started making furniture shortly after moving into our first apartment, and we discovered that we love designing and creating together. So, I quit my traditional office job, and Pratt and Hebert was born. We've branched out quite a bit from those early years making furniture to include ceramics and other functional homewares in our line of products.
What’s Pratt and Hebert all about? We believe that the regular, everyday objects we use in our daily rituals should be beautiful, well designed, and a joy to use. We strive to create functional pieces of art with this philosophy in mind, hoping throughout the creative process that we will find customers who love our products as much as we do.
Tell us the rocket science behind your products. How do you go from an idea to a finished product?
Most of our designs begin with a sketch. For our ceramics line, not only do I sketch the illustrations that end up as the pot's surface decoration, but I also sketch the shape of the pot, and refine the design according to the piece's function. I then throw the pot on the potter's wheel, trim the pot, inlay illustrations, glaze, and fire it twice in the kiln.
Why do you make what you make? What’s your favorite thing about working with ceramics?
I love working with clay as a material. It is both challenging and forgiving, and it creates endless opportunities for experimentation. I also love the idea of making something that will not only be such an integral part of people's daily lives, but could possibly last thousands of years and be used by future anthropologists to study our society. (Can you tell I was an Anthropology minor?!)
Do you have a favorite product?
The portrait cups are my current favorites. They are super fun to make, and they have a quirky quality about them that I love.
Is there a certain anecdote behind your favorite product? Is it inspired by memories, places?
Almost everyone who picks up one of our portrait cups recognizes someone they know in my illustrations. It's fun hearing who they think the cup looks like, and they usually end up telling me a little about the person, which is so interesting. It's a nice way to connect with people, and I really enjoy that my pieces inspire people to think about their loved ones.
What are you inspired by, in general?
We find inspiration around us, in the seemingly mundane rhythms of life. A good meal, a walk around the yard, or the light coming through the windows of our farmhouse can all spark an idea, a design. We are heavily influenced by the places we've called home - the eccentricity, whimsy, and spirit of our hometown of New Orleans and the natural beauty of the Upper Hudson River Valley, where we currently live.
Just taking the risk to start this business was a big achievement. We started Pratt and Hebert to achieve creative independence, and the success of our business depends completely on us, which is terrifying and exhilarating. I am also incredibly proud of how we've grown and continue to develop as artists. All of this makes me very excited for the future and all of the great products we've yet to design!