Shop Local: Persimmon Street Ceramics
Falls Church artist Heather Lezla's handmade pottery pieces are one-of-a-kind, in colors that change with the seasons.
Ceramicist Heather Lezla laughs when asked if her popular spice spoons can be used for measuring ingredients.
“I actually use my hands to make the scoop part of the spoon, so they’re all different sizes. Nothing is standard about them,” says the Arlington-based artist. “I’ve had people request measuring spoons done like that, but…trying to make them all the same just doesn’t work. They’re like mini sculptures.”
Lezla, who sells handmade home and garden items ($10-$80) on Etsy as Persimmon Street Ceramics, says that each piece she makes “has a different personality and resonates with different people for different reasons.”
She draws inspiration from nature, organic forms and the primitive objects she collects, as well as the view from her window in different seasons. “Sometimes I go a little bit more pastel during the summers,” she says, whereas this fall prompted a dark green, blue and brown neutral palette. “In the winter, I’ll probably do something kind of stark, more like black and white.”
Lezla also taps into her interests—particularly gardening—when coming up with new ideas. She collaborated with Botanologica co-owner Julie Liu to create an updated version of a flower frog ($35-$42) that fits atop a glass jar and is sold exclusively at the shop in Falls Church. (You’ll also find her pieces at The Urban Farmhouse in Arlington.)
“I’m a big fan of traditional craftsmanship, but I try to take those traditions and update them a little bit and make them more modern,” she says.
Art has always been a part of Lezla’s life—her mother is a painter—but it wasn’t until college that she considered turning it into more than a hobby. While she mainly gravitates toward making functional objects like espresso cups, deviled egg plates and vases, she recently began veering into decorative ceramics, partly inspired by visits to fiber shop Tint in Falls Church.
“I’m starting to get into adding fiber to the ceramic pieces that I make,” she says. “I’d like to get into sort of knotting and making it more sculptural, rather than just concentrating on having something to use. I’m going more decorative, more aesthetic, and embellishing the ceramics with the soft yarns.”