Artist Profile: Q&A With Tracy Pesche
Posted Nov 1st 2023
After working with artist Tracy Pesche for five years, we can cheerfully
report she continues to be a top seller for our company, and we love it!
Her vibrant style, professionalism and enthusiastic spirit make for a
dream collaboration. We got to chat with Tracy about all things art and
wanted to share this fun conversation with you. Plus, don’t forget to
add some of her happy home accents to your spaces!
Q: Growing up, how did you become interested in art? When did you start
drawing and painting?
A: “I was born into a family that loved art. My parents opened an art
gallery before I was born, so from birth I was exposed to some of the
world’s greatest living artists. In first grade my mother was, “Art
and she would come into class to talk about famous artists
from the past as well. And it was around that time that I started
crafting. I made potholders and painted rocks and sold them at my
parents garage sales. I used a rubber stamper and made tags that said,
“handmade by Tracy”. Seeing peoples smiles and hearing compliments on my
work made me feel wonderful and it was just the start of things to
Q: Was there anything specific you enjoyed drawing or painting when you
A: “I always loved to draw, from the time I was very little. My mother
says I used to cut up small pieces of paper and draw flowers and
Q: When did you sell your first piece?
A: ‘My first time selling in a store was when I was in high school. I
made metal plant stakes in the shapes of birds that I painted. I sold
them in my parents’ gallery. In college, I was a ceramics major and came
home with lots of pots. Some of those I sold in the gallery as well.”
Q: When and how did you decide that you wanted to pursue art as a
A: “Art is what truly made me happy, so I needed to find out if I could
make a career out of it. In
2010 I decided to take a huge risk and
I signed up for the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia. My
boyfriend at the time, who would later become my husband, drove me 16
hours to Philly through a blizzard. We brought all of my whimsical wood
creations with us, and the show was a huge success! It validated that my
product was one that consumers wanted and I have, gratefully, been busy
Q: How would you describe your art style?
A: “My art style is whimsical and colorful. I love to make art that is
Q: Your parents were artists as well. What influence, if any, did their
work have on yours?
A: “My parents, as well as other family members, had a big influence on
my creativity. For many Christmases we made our presents. They had tired
of buying for everyone, so someone decided it would be fun to make gifts
instead. So my grandparents, aunts and uncles all pulled out their tools
and paint brushes and made snowmen, Santas and trees. Not everyone felt
that they were very talented, so it was always a fun day to see what
everyone created. Lots of laughs and happy memories from those Christmas
Eves. And much appreciation from what can be made by hand if you just
put some thought and time into it. I was in middle school about this
time so I made many ornaments.”
Q: You work a lot with ceramics, wood and metal. What drew you to those
materials initially and what do you enjoy most about working with them?
A: “I really like dimensional art. Just simply painting on a canvas
always feels too flat to me. I really like feeling my materials and
creating sculptures. Ceramics has always been fun because it has an
element of technicality to it. It is not a fast process; it takes time
and patience to build something by hand and the potter’s wheel takes
some skill to get good at. Once you get the hang of it, it is like
riding a bike and it feels like such an accomplishment. And when your
finished product comes out of the kiln it is a great feeling. I also
like wood because it has substance and adding metal can add even more
Q: Tell us about your team. What was the process like bringing others in
to help your art reach more people?
A: “Right now I am back to the basics, working by myself like when I
first started. Over the years I have had some helpers and even my
parents and aunts have chipped into paint. But I don’t really like being
a boss or relying on others. Although it is not always easy to keep up
with the demand, by myself in the studio is when I do my best work.”
Q: What does the creative process look like for you and the team from
start to finish? How do you come up with a new design and which
techniques do you use to turn it from an idea into a reality?
A: “My design process is very simple when working with wood. I don’t
have a firm plan in mind. I look at my wood board and let it decide
along with my pencil. I draw directly on the board, drawing around knots
and blemishes. I just let the piece go wherever it wants to. Then after
making many, I decide which are the best to add to my line and I make
patterns so I can make them over and over again.”
Q: What's your favorite piece or collection you've created,
either personally or professionally?
A: “I have a few favorite pieces I’ve created over the years. One was
for my graduating art show for the School of the Art Institute of
Chicago. I titled it “Sunglow” and it was this beautiful organic ceramic
pot where I did a combination of a wheel thrown bottom and a winding
hand build top. I sold that piece at the show and I’ve had sellers
remorse ever since. Another is the first large flower I made out of a
door. I was renovating my first place and wanted to make a wood flower,
but I didn’t have any wood on hand, so I used an old door that was just
going to wind up in the dumpster. And from the Heartful Home line, I
think my favorite is one of the new vases. The vases truly remind me of
where I started my ceramic career with their imperfect shapes yet
Q: With your art appearing in so many formats, what would you say is the
common thread that connects every piece?
A: “The Heartful Home line has many formats, but the common thread is
the black and white with the pop of color, and the use of the heart. The
simple heart can mean whatever the giver wants it to. I love when
customers have the ability to give the piece meaning.”
Q: Do you have a favorite artist or someone in the community who has
inspired you during your career?
A: “I don’t have a single favorite artist. I am inspired by all of those
doing just as I have done: dragging their things to shows and putting in
the hard work. It makes me happy to walk through an art fair and see all
of the creativity.”
Q: What are you working on now?
A: “Right now I am more focused on quality versus quantity. I still have
stores that started buying from me at the first show in Philly. I want
to continue to build those relationships and give them what they want.
It is the same with DEMDACO. They are the sole partnership that I
license my artwork to and I think that is a good thing. People are
loving the line and collecting different pieces.”
Q: Looking ahead, what goals do you have for your art? Is there a new
style you'd like to try or a material you’d like to work with?
A: “I have always been intrigued by glass. Someday I’d love to give
glass blowing a try.”
Q: What hobbies or interests do you have outside of your art?
A: “I’m a mom of two young boys. They keep me very busy. I love playing
sports with them, and I’m actually an assistant coach to my nine-year
old’s baseball team, which brings me much enjoyment.”
Q: How often do you hear from individuals who have purchased your art?
What are some of the common things they say?
A: “That is the great thing with social media, you do hear from your
customers. I love the pictures people send me of their collections and
the stories. Mostly I hear how uplifting and happy my art is. Sometimes
I hear these stories because they lost a piece they are trying to
replace. Not that long ago, someone’s dog ate their wood heart ornament,
a piece I had designed for DEMDACO years ago. The piece had been
retired, but the ornament meant so much to her as she had given it to
her young daughter after she had heart surgery. So as a last effort to
replace it, she reached out telling me her story. I was able to replace
the ornament and it confirmed how my art can connect with people.”
Thank you, Tracy, for years of delightful art and great collaboration!
Don’t forget to give (and get) some uplifting pieces for your loved ones
(and your home). You won’t regret it!