About Branching Out Pottery

Branching Out Pottery is rooted in Karen Adler's 34 years' experience as a full-time ceramic artist. Stemming from a desire to celebrate the personal, her focus is producing custom, personalized or commemorative giftware.

It all began as a child, with a passionate desire to make "stuff". These objects d'art were thoughtful in nature...the more they reflected the uniqueness of the recipient, the better. After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Karen began her journey as a full-time, independent studio potter, traveling throughout the West - exhibiting and selling her wares at craft fairs and festivals. Her work has been purchased by customers nationwide.

Today, in addition to handmade pottery, Karen combines her studio and design experience with digital imaging and innovative printing technology, to an expanded range of product offerings which meld photos and other graphics to ceramic tiles and other substrates.

Branching Out Pottery is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains - midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe.

About Our Tiles and Custom Imaged Products

True to the name and concept branching out, Karen added photo tiles to her line of personalized ceramic giftware in 2004.

The first project answered a personal desire to create a unique and meaningful gift for her parents' 50th anniversary. Her first order came the very day this gift was delivered.

Products were well received - with rave reviews! She never looked back,...the vast line of original designs ever expanding.

Combining both computer graphic skills and a vision to use this new medium to create unique and personalized items for customers, she is both excited and proud to add photographic imagery to the mix!

About Our Pottery

Our custom pottery is made entirely by hand, using a variety of techniques. Most pieces are individually "thrown" on the potter’s wheel, while others are cut from slabs of hand-rolled clay. A few products are cast in molds using liquid clay.

Nearly all of our handmade pottery is made using a decorative technique called sgraffito (Italian, "to scratch") in which the inscription is carved through a band of colored underglaze into the still-damp clay form, revealing the contrasting crisp white color of the clay beneath. The textural quality of the incised, hand-lettered calligraphy is subtle and rich. Other pieces may employ techniques such as underglaze painting or applied metallic lusters for decorative embellishment.

For centuries, the permanence offered by clay has provided the perfect "canvas" for commemorative art. Examples of sgraffitto date to the Sung Dynasty (A.D. 960 – 1223). The tradition continued in Europe and was eventually brought to the United States by settlers who chronicled important family events on plates, jug, and other crockery. These family heirlooms have been passed down and treasured for generations.

Crafted from durable, fine porcelain and other white earthenware clays, our pottery is decorated with lead-free glazes and genuine 22K gold and platinum accents, then kiln-fired to approximately 2200º F.

Our personalized pottery will be a long-lasting and elegant reminder of the people and special occasions you wish to commemorate.