Elise Birnbaum is the artist and ceramicist behind Oatmeal, a studio based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her signature piece is the Union Knot necklace, a ceramic knot formed from unique clay bodies and strung with a leather cord.
The Union Knot has becomes quite the playground for Elise's unique expressions, and along with the support of studio dog Foss and cat Zooey, Oatmeal looks to continue contributing to the larger community of artists and makers.
Elise started making the knot after working primarily through hand-building. She found her clay wanted to be placed in that shape, and the result is a seemingly impossible combination of both the flowiness of ribbon and the rigidity of clay.
Having found a flagship form, Elise began experimenting with a variety of clay bodies, glazes, and even types of leather. Each necklace is a perfect combination of varying elements, all tied together by a familiar shape.
Artistic Inspiration & Makers
Once Elise found herself creating ceramics, she realized she was part of a larger movement of makers: people who created small-batch things they loved. These makers touch and form all of their work, injecting a unique perspective into the weird web of ideas artists share.
Inspired by the movement, Elise is collaborating with more artists to create pieces together. She finds the practice to make the world a bigger and smaller place at the same time, creating a unified voice for the broader conversation.