Teen in business: Junior Bella Morgan creates digital ceramics company Organic Matter Pottery

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Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Junior Bella Morgan, founder of of Organic Matter Pottery, works in the Archer ceramics studio painting a mug. "[Ceramics is] a strong passion of mine and I dedicate a lot of my time to it because it something very relaxing and stress free," Morgan said.

Junior Bella Morgan drives to the UPS store near her house twice a week, a bulky package wrapped in bubble wrap sitting on the passenger seat. A salad bowl, a coffee mug or a dinner plate was made to order earlier that week by a customer elsewhere in the United States. Since November of 2019, Morgan has sold her ceramics for profit on her self-run Etsy store, Organic Matter Pottery.

“It feels great to be a young entrepreneur,” Morgan said. “I love getting my artwork out there into a functional piece in someone’s home. Knowing someone is getting use of my art and appreciates it is what puts a smile on my face.”

Morgan has earned more than $600 so far from her online shop combined with off-line sales with her pricing ranging from $20 for a mug to $75 for larger bowls and vases.

“It really depends on what glazes or mixtures of clay I’m using,” Morgan said. “If I’m mixing glazes or using speckled clay, which is more expensive, I will alter the price.”

Morgan is in the advanced ceramics class at Archer and has been throwing on the wheel since she was 12 years old. Morgan has a kiln and wheel in her garage at home where she makes her ceramics; sometimes spending up to six hours a week in her home studio.

“It is stressful, with school, to spend so long in the studio, but I manage to balance it through successful time management,” Morgan said. “I am saving the money I make for future plans I have, so it is eventually worth the time and work I put into it.”

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg
Junior Bella Morgan paints a flower on a mug from her new project in the Archer ceramics studio. Morgan began selling her pottery work to the public at a “small- business” market place on the grounds of the school Ocean Charter in Playa Vista, California, in November of 2018.

Morgan is planning to continue her ceramics passion through college but not necessarily into a career.

“I will want to continue this skill of mine in college, but I am not sure about my future,” Morgan said. “I love art but I don’t know if I will pursue it in the future.”

As well as creating ceramics at Archer and at her home, Morgan also juggles school work and volleyball at the same time. However Morgan says creating her pieces has given her a “relief of stress” from other responsibilities.

“Ceramics gives me a space to work creatively and it is such a relaxed and enjoyable environment,” Morgan said. “That calmness makes my job that much more enjoyable.”