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Artist Curt Hammerly, founder of Hammerly Ceramics, stands next to his porcelain creations in 2021 at his studio in Broomfield. (Curt Hammerly/Courtesy photo)
Artist Curt Hammerly, founder of Hammerly Ceramics, stands next to his porcelain creations in 2021 at his studio in Broomfield. (Curt Hammerly/Courtesy photo)

The vibrant, geometrically textured and eye-catching work of artist Curt Hammerly stretches far beyond average ceramics.

Curt Hammerly, founder of Hammerly Ceramics, balances mugs he created at his Broomfield studio in 2021. (Curt Hammerly/Courtesy photo)

From layered glaze that offers shades of rich magentas, shimmering greens and deep indigos to coffee mugs whose tactile surfaces beg to be touched, his boundary-pushing work remains some of the most imaginative found within the Front Range.

This time of year, his kiln — at his Broomfield studio — stays hot, with holiday orders pouring in locally and from fans across the country and overseas.

With 200,000 followers on his Hammerly Ceramics Instagram page, his reach has spread far and wide and it’s easy to see why.

From letting people in on his process to showcasing inspired collaborations, his social media content offers folks an intimate glimpse into the life of a working artist.

Whether he is crafting pieces by hand or utilizing the magic technology of a 3D printer, the end result always delivers a wow factor.

Beyond mugs, he crafts ornaments, pipes, plant holders, astronaut figurines and detailed framed photographs of his work are also up for grabs on his site.

He even partnered with Casetify to create phone cases whose color palette resembles that of his multi-hued glazes on porcelain.

Hammerly’s journey into ceramics came after a life-altering accident 10 years ago. While riding his bike, he was hit by a van resulting in a number of injuries including seven broken ribs, a broken neck, a collapsed lung and ruptured spleen, kidney and liver.

Time in the ICU, grueling days of physical rehab and months in a medical halo followed. Unable to do much physical activity, he decided to dabble in ceramics and take some classes at the Boulder Potters’ Guild.

What started as a simple hobby has transformed into a prosperous business that is only continuing to grow.

A former technology manager for the University of Colorado’s Environmental Design department is now thriving as a full-time artist.

We caught up with the Colorado native to find out more about his love of the artform and his goals for 2022.

Mugs by Curt Hammerly of Hammerly Ceramics. (Curt Hammerly/Courtesy photo)

Kalene McCort: Really love the unique shapes and shades of your work. What’s your process like? Do you often sketch out ideas for future projects or do the pieces evolve organically in the moment?

Curt Hammerly: Early on, I did a lot of sketching. Nowadays, I have far more ideas to work on than I have time for so it’s more of a priority system for making it through the list. I also sketch, these days, in 3D modeling software which works better for my ideas than paper.

KM: Artistically, who and what would you say you are inspired by currently?

CH: Right now, I am finding most of my inspiration from the process itself. I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of combining clay and technology. Far too many ideas to pursue and not enough time.

KM: I know this is your busiest time of the year. How many orders would you say you are fulfilling weekly and do you have any top-sellers?

CH: Right now is the craziest holiday season I have had to date. We did over 1,000 orders in November which is almost triple a normal month. Top sellers are always coffee mugs in all my different designs and colors. Cannot seem to ever make enough.

Curt Hammerly partnered with Casetify to create phone cases that resemble the glaze that can be found on his porcelain ceramics. (Curt Hammerly/Courtesy photo)

KM: What is it about the medium of clay that you find particularly satisfying?

CH: We take in bags of powdered clay in through the back door and ship final finished long-lasting porcelain pieces out the front. The most satisfying part to me is that I can form essentially mud into any shape my mind can come up with and the resulting product can far outlast my lifetime.

KM: Any goals for 2022, either personal or professional achievements you’d like to see come to fruition?

CH: The main goal for 2021 was to make sure the business could still be successful while bringing a baby into the family in February. The goals for 2022 have more to do with finding a healthy work-life balance while still pushing my boundaries artistically. I also have a very big secret project that will finally be launched in January and could change the future of Hammerly Ceramics in a very big way.


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