Winter Market Vendor Series: Revisiting Sarahmics
Feb20

Winter Market Vendor Series: Revisiting Sarahmics

Fact: Drinking out of a hand made ceramic mug makes everything taste better. I don’t care what it is; milk, water, wine…it’s just better this way. Maybe it’s the weight of the mug, the earthy texture, or the comfy at-home feel a piece of pottery gives you. Whatever the reason, Sarah Thompson, the talent behind Sarahmics, has figured it out. As her name consistently buzzed in my ear from friends and regulars at the market, I decided it was time to revisit Sarahmics and see just what she’s been up to. Turns out it’s a lot. Let me start by saying that Sarah is yet another fun, friendly and open person I have had the pleasure of meeting at the market. Beautiful inside and out – and this all shows in her ceramics. In 2012 Sarah did what so many of us dream of doing. She “quit her day job” to pursue her hobby. What a risk it must have been, but Sarah sees the rewards every time she produces another unique piece. “When your hobby becomes your livelihood, you learn a lot.  I am an artist, accountant, secretary, promoter, salesman, shipper, graphic designer, and so much more.  The biggest skill I’ve learned is time management,” Sarah explains. Now that she’s gotten the swing of wearing ten hats at once, her work is growing and she has more of an opportunity to try new techniques. She talked to me about the new things she’s doing this year. “My work has changed completely over the past year.  My new work involves a technique called ‘Sgraffito’.  This is when you paint an underglaze or slip onto the leather hard piece and then carve through that color or slip into the clay. The carvings I do on my pieces are inspired by plants and flowers.  I’ve also developed my own glazes (colors).  This is super exciting to me because it really makes each piece unique to me and my brand.” She posts a lot of her work to her Facebook page. Some of her posts are actual videos of her process. I am transfixed by this…the sound and the movement of the wheel. Honestly, to me pottery is so natural and the process of making it is mesmerizing. Sarahmics is an honest to goodness representation of beauty and functionality. Imagine a strainer that’s pretty enough to keep on your counter. Her pieces are microwave and dishwasher safe – and they are all one of a kind. Every ripple and stroke of the chisel is different from one piece to the next. Sarah is humbled by the accolades she receives from loyal customers, but she remains confident in her...

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Winter Market Series: Chef Eric Wears More Than One Hat
Jan16

Winter Market Series: Chef Eric Wears More Than One Hat

Have you heard of Chef Eric? Have you ever felt like a rockstar in your own home? Do you love coffee and food and WINE? Well, I’ve got news for you! And it comes to you in the first of our Winter Market Vendor Series posts. This is exciting for me. As much as I love the Barr Street Market, YLNI’s Winter Market has totally won me over. There’s something about scavenging through vendor’s booths at the Ash Center every other Saturday that just makes me happy. It’s like summer inside. Live music plays, the aroma of food and Fort Wayne’s finest food trucks simmers in the air. People are happy here. And the vendors just keep getting better and better. This week, my focus is on Chef Eric. A local celebrity in my book, I have seen his booth and heard his name mumbled fondly since I began writing for Living Fort Wayne. But the markets are only a small piece of the pie. Chef Eric Braun is a personal chef, author, consultant, TV host, entrepreneur, philanthropist and an all-out stand-up guy. I met with him recently over lunch. And, after sending back cold soup (we laughed about this since obviously, they didn’t know who they were serving) he talked candidly about what has brought him to this point in his very successful career. Eric Braun wears much more than a chef hat. So the best way for me to explain is to highlight each of his endeavors individually. Personal Chef Chef Eric was born, raised, and now lives in a kitchen. Ok, not really. But it certainly seems that way. His parents owned and ran Snow White Kitchen on Creighton and Calhoun streets from 1949-1982. It was your classic diner, and had many followers. This is where he found his passion. When the diner closed, Chef Eric moved to Indy to start his own business. He has worked in food service operations, managing, teaching and (most importantly) cooking, his entire life. Ten years ago, Chef Eric and his family moved back to Fort Wayne. It was his aging parents and true love for family and connection that brought him home. It was his love for food that made him a personal chef. The years of brilliantly creating delicious dishes had put a toll on Chef Eric’s weight and health. He had to make some changes, so he lost 150 pounds. Of course, it wasn’t that easy. It required some serious lifestyle changes, specifically what, and how he ate. Well, naturally this wasn’t something he was willing to sacrifice. The answer came in “small bites”. Tapas, of course. Chef Eric was ahead...

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