Along the strip in Maypearl sits Studio RK.
Rachel Sherrill, owner and artist, describes the work done inside the shop that carries a mixture of farmhouse and gypsy as “perfectly imperfect.”
Mostly by request, she creates nesting bowls, mugs, place settings, spoon rests, platters and more. “I like functional pieces that you can drink out of or eat off of. All of my stuff is functional. Around Christmas I will do some fun figurines […] and I do enjoy sculpting I just don’t do it very often.”
Sherrill first recognized her talents for pottery while attending McMurry University in Abilene.
“I hated it in the beginning. I thought, ‘I’m bad at this I hate it.’ But I was at school and so I had to keep doing it,” Sherrill said while cradling her infant son, Wyatt.
She graduated in 2012 with her bachelor’s degree in studio arts from McMurry University. Conveniently, as she graduated, a Buffalo Gap artist, who served as her inspiration, was in the midst of selling his supplies, paints and machines — basically his entire studio — after moving to Australia.
“I wound up moving his studio here. I say it was my dad’s way of bribing me to come home,” she joked.
Sherrill has operated Studio RK on the strip of downtown Maypearl since 2013. The front of the building serves as a boutique area where she and several vendors display their goods. In the rear is her art studio where she throws when not at home taking care of her family.
In 2016, a technique clicked and before she knew it, her product was sold on the shelves in Waco at Magnolia Market, made famous by Joanna Gaines from the television show, “Fixer Upper.”
Sherrill admitted she had always pondered what Gaines might think about her work and also has a cousin that had provided metal work for the family. That’s when she decided to scheme a little in order to get her product in front of television and renovation star.
Sherrill handed her family member a sample mug and jewelry, hoping one day he’d give it to Gaines if the opportunity presented itself.
A little later, she received a call from a buyer with Magnolia Market and was asked if she could make the “bloom mug” in high volume. “And it went off from there,” Sherrill said.
“But it was really hard in the beginning. We had a lot of samples and had to change a lot of stuff. We finally got it right.”
She added, “There are GOOD throwing days and then there are throw a chunk of clay across the studio days.”
Sherill admitted that her skill improved immensely while she created product on a regular basis. She estimated to have thrown about 18,000 mugs.
But, just as the going got goo, life happened — Sherrill and her husband, Weston, found out they’d soon be parents.
“I had to quit early — throwing with my belly getting so big and he didn’t like it,” she said.
Keeping up with stock for Magnolia and a newborn seemed impossible but Sherrill balanced as much as she could, always making her family the priority. “I was sad but at the same time relieved,” she said.
In addition to pottery, Sherrill constructs sterling silver bracelets, necklace and rings that reflect a rustic, western theme. Her inspirations are also more than just the buffalos and or turquoise stones found in the final product, too.
Sherrill explained her grandfather collected coins and, after he passed away, that collection was given to her father. She likes to configure odd coins into different rings. Her jewelry is also “perfectly imperfect,” just like her mugs.
“Jewelry was my first love before pottery,” she admitted. If she was given the ultimatum to make jewelry or pottery the rest of her life, it would be jewelry.
“Jewelry is almost therapeutic and pottery can be frustrating. And with pottery, you cannot get a finished product in one sitting,” she said.
Before Magnolia, she held a few private lessons at her shop and plays with the idea of opening for regular classes. Over the years, she has received a lot of requests and will open her shop to someone dedicated to learn and throw a piece of their own.
She will work with someone by appointment only.
Studio RK is located at 304 Main St. in Maypearl. The office can be reached at 972-921-1163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view the pottery or jewelry available for sale online, visit studiorktx.com