Tricia Allen is the talented artist behind Tallen Arts creating beautiful handmade functional pottery pieces for everyday living. Allen opened her Etsy shop online in 2020 selling dinnerware and jewelry from her home in Kansas City.
“I took my first pottery class at Kansas State University when I was 19,” Allen says. “The thing I loved about it was how challenging it was, and how from the very beginning I wanted to master it. I got my B.F.A. in ceramics and painting. I knew I wanted to someday be able to sell my work. My parents bought me a used wheel for my graduation gift. I got married and had four kids in my twenties, so the wheel ended up in the basement for years. In my late 30's I started teaching again at Epic Clay Studio in Kansas City, Ks. The first time I threw on the wheel again, I didn't want to stop. My classes would end at 9 p.m., but I'd end up staying until midnight. It was amazing. After about eight years of teaching at that studio, I started Tallen Arts. In May of 2020 I published my first listing on my Etsy site!
“When COVID started, I no longer had a safe studio to work out of. I have Type 1 diabetes and was considered a high-risk group. So, my husband turned the sun room of our house into a studio for me. I now throw off of the same wheel I got for my college graduation.”
Allen describes her style as simple, floral and delicate.
“I get my inspiration from plants, flowers, fabrics or patterns I see. I've always been a watercolor painter and that comes through a lot in my pieces. Something you'll notice in my work is how I use lines—I have always added lines to both my painting and pottery, even as a kid.”
Her artwork proves functional pieces can be beautiful, too.
“Honestly, there is just something about eating and drinking from handmade pottery. I love being able to make things that people will use every day in their own homes. Clay can be like a canvas. I can take a piece of clay and make it into anything I want and I love that.”
For aspiring creatives wanting to turn their passion for art into a business, Allen says don’t wait.
“Just start. Even if it's small. You're going to make mistakes, and it's going to be hard, but you learn as you go. Surround yourself with people that will encourage you. There will always be people out there who are willing to answer your questions and that you can learn from—and don't be intimidated by or compare yourself to other artists. Be true to your own style.”
As for the future, Allen hopes to continue to master her work and sell in a local business.
“I want to continue to be successful in my growth with increased sales, master my work and learn more. I am hoping to find a small business or artisan shop in Kansas City that I could sell my work out of. I really like going to small farmers markets and would love to sell at more of them. I love seeing the people that buy my work.”
For shop updates and to see Allen’s process, visit tallen.arts on Instagram. To purchase and see more of her artwork, visit etsy.com/shop/tallenarts.