Nat ‘n’ Mom

Apr 14, 2015

GetInline-1The inaugural Jackalope Art & Craft Fair is in a few weeks and we caught up with local artist Meriel Stern who’s collaborated with her son Nat to create products they’ll be selling the weekend of April 25th-26th in Central Park, Pasadena.


Meriel shared with us some details about their creative journey…

The Nat’n’Mom Collection is a little project that we started together after Nathaniel learned to throw on the potter’s wheel in summer school a couple of years ago. I was just getting back into my art practice, and rented a neighbor’s garage for a studio. I had a show coming up, and needed a space to work on a larger scale, but hadn’t quite decided on the direction things would take…We decided to invest in a potter’s wheel, and I hooked up my kiln that had been in storage for several years…




Michael (Meriel’s husband, photographer Michael Stern) and I had been collecting succulents and cacti since we’d received a collection of plants as a wedding present in 1991, so after inheriting my parents collection and moving it to our house Nat and I started putting the two hobbies together and making gifts for the holidays. When I noticed so many little maker markets and fairs popping up around town, and following friends on Instagram who were getting into ceramics, it just seemed natural that we try to sell some of the pieces. An added benefit is that Nat learns business skills while earning money for his online gaming habit!




We work collaboratively. We both make the pots, and then choose glazes, plants and top dressing that we feel makes an interesting combination. We use both specimens that we buy from various nurseries, and supplement those with cuttings from our yard. Lately I have become more interested grafting cacti; it seems that there is quite a community of cactus enthusiasts who are experimenting with new shapes and combinations.

This project has also given me the permission to experiment with different materials such as the hypertufa, a homemade lightweight concrete mixture, that I plan to use on some ideas that I have for outdoor sculpture.




I’d been making crocheted wire sculptures since the early 1990’s, and several years ago began attaching tillandsia (also known as “airplants”) to the forms, so I will be showing a few of these at Jackalope Pasadena too!




Jackalope Art & Craft Fair
Saturday-Sunday, April 25th-26th, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Park, 275 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105
Free event


Examples of Meriel’s crocheted wire sculptures…


Sherbert Colored Pods by Meriel Stern

Sherbert Colored Pods by Meriel Stern


Art Scene’s James Daichendt writes that Meriel Stern‘s sculptures are “most engaging.” “Her wire and fiber forms resemble nests, pods, and other natural forms. However, the industrial materials seem at odds with the forms, which create an enjoyable juxtaposition.”






Vendors are coming from all over for the Jackalope Art & Craft Fair, but here are some of the local ones:
Artistry Industrial, Pasadena
Agapantha Jewelry, Torrance
Androgyny Design, L.A.
Astali, Glendale
Belle’s Nest, Sierra Madre
Dabby’s Natural, Pasadena
Frisky Fish, Alhambra
Ichiban Bath Co., Alhambra
A Zillion Dollars, Mt. Baldy
Candle Stash, West Hollywood (founded by our family friend Emily Akers!)
Clay & Fabric, Pasadena
Jim Madden Pottery, Monrovia
Juniper & Fir, Pasadena
Marion Eisenmann Visual Design, Pasadena
Fancifulchaos, Alhambra
Lacelit, Monrovia
Oh Hi There Cards, Pasadena
Alicia Gorecki, Pasadena
Art by Lisa Agaran, Sierra Madre
Julie Horton Photography, Pasadena
Cindy Makes, Alhambra
Roxy Makes Things, Glendale
Common Thread Studio, South Pasadena
Space Arts Center, South Pasadena



Flintridge Books

Lyd and Mo Photography

Louis Jane Studios

Homage Pasadena