A local artist proves that you don’t have to be in a high school art class to mold clay into something beautiful. Southern Clay Co. is a Baton Rouge-based small business that focuses on making clay earrings, necklaces and colorful home decor.
Angie Taylor is the creator and owner of Southern Clay Co. The business, formerly known as Cotton + Clay, used to focus solely on jewelry, but Taylor wished to expand the name and business to encapsulate more. In the future, Southern Clay Co. will begin selling wall art as well as clay hair accessories and clothing pins.
“I was talking to my sister one day about ideas and we said how cool it would be to make my terracotta rainbow earrings into a much larger size and turn it into wall art,” Taylor said. “From there the topic just flourished and so many ideas are waiting to be made. They are super lightweight and durable and the possibilities of color and designs are endless.”
The inspiration for her business came from Taylor’s childhood passion for bold and bright statement jewelry. She has an adoration for bright colors and one-of-a-kind styles. She decided to make her dreams a reality with the creation of Southern Clay Co.
“My grandmother always had big flashy earrings on growing up and I became obsessed with all of them,” Taylor said. “Now at 34, it's rare that you won't catch me in big vibrant earrings. It's my everyday statement piece that I almost feel lost when I don't have any on.”
Taylor was an artistic child who often took drawing and painting classes. With her artistic background and love for color and bold statement jewelry, Taylor always imagined herself designing and creating her own earrings. In fact, it wasn’t another piece of jewelry that gave her inspiration for her first handmade earrings — it was her own artwork, hanging on her wall in plain sight.
“I got into geometric canvas paintings a few years ago and one of my paintings was sort of the inspiration to my first jewelry design,” Taylor said. “I looked at it one day hanging on my wall and thought how awesome would this be if it were a pair of earrings.”
Each piece of jewelry created by Taylor is handcrafted and different from any other piece. She makes each piece of jewelry by rolling out colored clay and hand-cutting the shapes and designs to fit her inspiration. Some designs like her circle pieces are cut out by a cookie cutter to help ensure consistency in shapes. After the clay has dried, each piece is sanded and buffed before it is finally assembled.
Taylor enjoys playing with bold and funky elements of design and said her jewelry is the perfect finishing touch to any outfit looking for a little more pizazz
“I want every woman to feel beautiful and bold when they wear Southern Clay Co.,” Taylor said.