Local Makers Series: Lauren Woods | Ceramicist & Astrologer

September 14, 2023

Explore Bozeman's craftsmanship as we expand on local artisan's like Dualitas local pottery. Brought to you by Juniper Cannabis dispensaries.

Welcome back to Juniper’s "Local Makers Series", where we shine a light on creatives & business owners in our community. Today, we're thrilled to introduce you to Lauren Woods of Dualitas, a local pottery studio and makers shop that embodies the magic of duality. Get ready to delve into the world of Dualitas as we share the story behind the business and explore the unique perspective Lauren brings to the art of clay.

The journey of Dualitas began with a passionate artist named Lauren Woods. Born and raised in central Vermont, she developed a love for working with clay during high school. When Lauren moved to Bozeman in 2015, she noticed a lack of accessible pottery spaces for experienced artists. Drawing inspiration from their previous community studio back in Vermont, Lauren took matters into her own hands.

Lauren Woods prepping the glazes before dipping each piece into the buckets.

In 2015, Mrs. Woods founded Hustle & Throw LLC, a pottery studio that provided artists with a dedicated space to create. She gathered her favorite students from The Emerson, where she had been teaching, and offered them a fully equipped studio in a 1000 sq ft space located between South Tracy and South Black, across the alley from OwenHouse Cycling in downtown Bozeman. The venture proved successful, leading to the expansion of the studio in 2020. Dualitas now occupies the entire  3200 sqft art space on South Tracy Ave, featuring a shop at the front, three kilns, six pottery wheels, and all the necessary tools, glazes, and clay.

Lauren unloads the kiln full of Juniper Cannabis collaboration mugs!

Recently, Dualitas underwent a rebranding journey, transitioning from Hustle & Throw to Dualitas. The name Dualitas represents the beauty of embracing duality—balancing opposites such as dark and light, hard and easeful, and flowing and discerning. It encapsulates the ability to hold space for diverse emotions and connect with one's authentic energy in its entirety. Through this transformation, Dualitas celebrates the complexities and spectrums of existence.

Letting one of our sample mugs soak up some sun on the sidewalk downtown Bozeman.

Living in Montana holds a special place in Lauren's heart. She cherishes the access to the great outdoors, a privilege that allows them to immerse themselves in nature's breathtaking beauty within a 30-minute radius in any direction. Montana's wilderness and geological wonders serve as a constant source of inspiration for Lauren, feeding her love for rocks and geology. Additionally, the dry weather in Montana has been a delightful surprise, especially for someone coming from the humidity of Vermont. It has given her a newfound appreciation for her hair, and a sense of comfort in the arid climate.

As an artist and small business owner, Lauren aspires to make a positive impact on the local community. She wants Dualitas to serve as a gateway for individuals to explore art, particularly through clay. By offering studio space rentals to other artists and hosting classes, Lauren aims to cultivate a sense of artistic expression and connection within the larger community. The Dualitas shop provides a haven where Bozeman locals and visitors can purchase locally made or carefully crafted goods, knowing they were made with love and attention.

Lauren Woods at her shop downtown Bozeman– Inner Alchemy is only a few blcoks away from our downtown Bozeman dispensary!

One of the distinguishing aspects of Lauren's approach to clay is her unwavering drive and flexibility. She doesn’t adhere strictly to traditional methods but focuses on what works and allows her to express creativity. Dualitas is an extension of Lauren's authentic self, and she’s learned to accept that people are drawn to their classes and artwork because of their unique energy and presence. This acceptance has been liberating and has allowed Lauren to fully embrace business and relax into her role as an artist and teacher.

The Juniper Cannabis 'Bozeman Grown' stamp hardened into a mug before the glazing process.

While Bozeman's community is known for its support of local Montana businesses and artists, there is always room for improvement. Lauren recognizes that the high cost of rent for apartments and commercial spaces poses a significant challenge for artists in the area and she believes that finding ways to make creative spaces more affordable or implementing easements for artists could foster a more vibrant artistic community.

However, one area where Bozeman excels is in the community's unwavering support for the arts. Whether it's attending art shows, participating in creative experiences, or collaborating with local artists, the people of Gallatin Valley consistently show up to support their creative endeavors. This sense of community inspires Lauren and fuels their dedication to connecting people and fostering a sense of belonging.

Inspiration for the work coming out of Lauren’s business, Dualitas comes from a variety of sources. Necessity plays a significant role, as she creates pieces that are practical and functional for daily use. Experiences and nature also serve as profound influences. The infamous Boob Mugs, which propelled Dualitas to prominence, were born out of Lauren's time as a bra specialist for Victoria's Secret in Boston. Furthermore, the colors, glaze combinations, shapes, and textures in their work are often drawn from the mesmerizing beauty of the natural world.

A little behind the scenes at Inner Alchemy while Lauren stamps our custom mugs. Peep one of our favorite other Bozeman brand in these photos, Dangle Supply's High on Earth hat is a local favorite.

The path of a potter is not commonly understood by the general public. Clay work is time-consuming, prone to mistakes, and physically challenging. To ensure the quality of her work, Lauren often makes multiple versions of a piece, a process that requires dedication and precision. The weight of clay and pottery wheels alone demonstrates the physicality of the trade, with boxes of clay weighing around 50 pounds and pottery wheels tipping the scales at 75-85 pounds.

A bag of pre-wedged clay that will soon become coffee mugs in Lauren's studio.

Connecting with the community is a source of immense joy for Lauren. One of her favorite ways to engage is through the monthly Community Clay class, where anyone and everyone can participate in open hand-building sessions using recycled clay from the studio. This inclusive gathering fosters a sense of community and offers individuals the opportunity to explore their creativity. Lauren also takes great pleasure in organizing the Nourish The Heart market—an event that brings local makers and the community together to celebrate art and connection.

The best pour-over and the best cannabis makes for a pretty good morning.

As we conclude our spotlight on Dualitas, we encourage you to embrace the beauty of duality and connect with the vibrant artistic community that thrives in Bozeman. Visit Dualitas, explore their stunning creations, and discover the magic that happens when opposites unite. These collaboration mugs are now available at both of our dispensary locations in Bozeman and Belgrade.

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