THE POTTERY – Christian Royal Pottery is high-fired stoneware that is handmade using slab-building techniques. The stoneware incorporates the natural splendor of leaves or the artistry of beautiful laces, which are shaped into flowing designs and functional forms. The making of stoneware involves numerous steps over several days. Each piece involves Christian and his assistants in a collaborative effort, following many sequential steps. While some of the pieces may be similar, none are identical due to the process. Handcrafting produces variations in size, shape, color saturation, depth of impression, and minor imperfections that give each piece part of its appeal. Thus, the studio adage: Stoneware With The Charm of Things Imperfect and Simple
THE POTTER – Christian Royal is a young man with Down syndrome who struggles with single words and has yet to grasp basic addition or time. However, since his teen years, Christian has shown an interest in, and aptitude for, working with clay. Christian was unable to “do” school as other students did and began making pottery as part of his homeschooling program. Since his first lesson with Kris Neal of Fire And Earth Pottery, pottery has increasingly become the focus of his life. Over the years, through many providential happenings, kind-hearted people have offered their expertise and help at just the right time for each step of what is now Christian Royal Pottery. Foremost is John and Jan Myers, professional potters, who inexplicably offered to teach Christian the methods and techniques they had developed over thirty years. They made this offer the first time we ever met them. A week later we had unpacked our bags in their home and were sitting in their studio as John began to instruct Christian. John and Jan's teaching of Christian enabled him to produce a style of pottery that captures simplicity and charm in its essence.
THE ENTERPRISE – Within six months of being taught by the Myers, Christian was invited to sell his pottery at the Buddy Walk of the Lowcountry Down Syndrome Association in the Fall of 2009. What a generous offer and what a difference it would bring about. As a result of the sales and exposure from the Buddy Walk, Christine Osborne, the owner of Wonder Works, invited Christian to sell his pottery in her stores. One of the slogans of Wonder Works is: Magic Happens Here. And so it did! Where John and Jan gave Christian the techniques of making pottery, Christine gave Christian the opportunity and sales he needed to make his pottery a business rather than just a hobby. Many times she featured Christian and his pottery in her stores and on the Wonder Works web page. And when the studio would encounter a production problem, she was always there to give encouragement and help. This same spirit continued when Jeannette Nicholson and Vicki Ellis of Ellis-Nicholson Gallery invited Christian to sell in their art gallery in historic downtown Charleston. They featured Christian and his pottery several times at the monthly Gallery Row Art Walk in the French Quarter. These wonderful locations were followed by Open House, Peyton William Jewelry Studio, and new store openings of Wonder Works at the City Market and Kiawah Island's Freshfields Village. The public has warmly embraced the pottery, purchasing many pieces into the thousands. A simple beginning had developed into a vocation – one which daily animates Christian’s life with purpose, camaraderie, and identity in society.
THE MISSION (CONTINUES) – To create stoneware with the charm of things imperfect and simple, with a beauty that appeals to the eye and evokes a sense of wonderment, prized by those who purchase it and esteemed by those to whom it is given.
PEACE OF MIND: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Christian Royal Pottery
847 Colony Drive
Charleston, SC 29407
Christian attended Anna's Angels Gala in Cary, North Carolina this past weekend. Anna's Angels funds research to improve the cognitive and communicative ability of individuals with Down syndrome. As part of this wonderful event, he had the opportunity to be photographed next to a beautiful Maserati. Alas, even this dream car in the driveway would not improve his commute time each morning from his bedroom to his studio downstairs.