Hello! I finally have my new studio up and running, and have just released a new batch of pots. It's been a couple of months since I made much, and I've been feeling a little wobbly and nervous getting back into the swing of things.

I've been through some pretty significant life changes in the past two years, and my work has also. I think for the better, but I feel like I'm still in the middle of an awkward growth spurt. I am glad to have made some work and put it out there again. I hope you are embarking on some new adventures and picking up old threads too. ---- Amber

About the business:

Chelonia Ceramics is a very small, solo-run business specializing in small batches of thoughtful porcelain pottery, designed and handcrafted by me, Amber Wallour in West Michigan. 

Each piece is unique, and usually carved with floral or geometric designs. I am inspired by the harmony of natural structures and often look at bones, roots, seeds, shells, and anything botanical for ideas. I tend to gravitate towards eastern pottery traditions and value simple, pragmatic designs, but sometimes make things very intricate anyway. The tug-of-war between the need for practicality and the obsession with anything vine-like is where most of my aesthetic falls. My pots are neither perfect nor indestructible, but they can be used at home or anywhere you feel like taking them. I hear they make good gifts.

I sell my pots here, and occasionally in person at markets and art fairs in the summer. I no longer do wholesale or use Facebook or Instagram. I send out email newsletters to my customers periodically to let them know when I have finished up a new batch of pots or have an in-person event coming up. 

About the turtle:

I read the folktale “The Tortoise and the Hare” over and over when I was little. I love the idea of the slow and steady tortoise, pacing himself in the long race with the stop-start hare. I am more of a hare, so the tortoise is something I like to keep in mind.


(artist for above image unknown)

The word “Chelonia” comes from the Latin word for the taxonomic classification of the family of turtles. I picked a turtle to stamp on my pots as a promise to pace myself and as a reminder— to slow down, breathe, find balance, and keep going, no matter what. 

I grew up in a suburb of Houston and earned my BFA (in painting, actually, not ceramics) from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. I took a wheel throwing ceramics course while I was there, and then a couple more. I always spend most of my time making things with my hands, but I really loved working in clay. Two years after graduating, I got myself back into a pottery studio to embark on my work as a full time artist in 2017.  

I moved from Austin, Texas to West Michigan in 2018. One of the best things about Michigan, surprisingly, is the winters. With the snow comes the option of extra sleep, cozy shenanigans, and time to think and read. I love to read. I can’t remember if my first love was working with my hands or reading, but I like to do both when I can. I read a lot of audiobooks.

I have now been a potter for 6 years! I hope for many, many more. I love waking up every day to design and make these pots, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide what role they play in your life. My job has many perks, but that part is probably my favorite.