When Emily Savard isn’t putting out fires, the District 4 Engine 22 firefighter is busy creating pieces that will eventually be thrown into one – or, a kiln to be specific.
Her interest in pottery started last year, although art has always been a creative outlet for the former marine whose career has also included a stint in cosmetology, exercise science, and as a florist at Cedar Grove Gardens in Dorchester.
“You should have something that’s fun and just for you,” Savard said. “It’s important to be into something that you aren’t forced into by any means.”
For her, that something starts with a little ball of clay.
Shortly after the holidays, Savard was visiting her old place of work to pay for her wedding flowers when her then-manager-now friend made a comment about how she had seen some of her art and thought it matches the store so well. Conveniently enough, Savard had a box of her pieces in a cardboard box in the back of her car that would speak for themselves and no longer rattle around at every stop sign and left turn.
As they both looked around at the wiped-out shelves from the holiday season, it was decided then and there that a designated area at Cedar Grove Gardens would showcase the vases, bowls and other clay pieces for sale.
And so, Struck Pot Ceramics was born.
The name comes from the firefighter term, “struck box” which refers to actually striking a little red box alarm that would notify nearby departments of a structure fire and that they need to come and help.
Savard throws (a pottery method for creating something on the wheel) at Clay Lounge in the South End. Despite her busy schedule, she finds the time to go to the studio 2-3 times a week.
“When I do something, I go all in. I don’t ever half-ass anything,” Savard said. Luckily, the workers over at Clay Lounge let her come in whenever it works for her. “When I started, I was obsessed with it and I still am, and probably always will be.”
If you feel a sudden inspiration to try out pottery, here are a few tips Savard wants you to know:
It’s a hard thing to be good at
The name of the game is keeping it centered on the wheel
It’s about skill, not strength
It’s a messy sport
As for her own inspiration for the new year, Savard’s goal for 2023 is to throw two 10-pound vases that she can use as decor at her wedding.
In terms of the creativity and decisions behind her pieces, when she sits down at the wheel she creates a vase in her mind and pictures flowers in it…
You can take the florist out of the flower shop (while leaving her pieces for sale), but you can’t take the flower shop out of the florist!
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