In 2008, an Ole Miss art student was required to take a ceramics class. She had no idea that just two years later, she’d be making commissions for clients all over the Southeast and molding a budding career as a ceramic artist into full bloom.
Having already sold more than 100 ceramic vases depicting roses or lilies, Caroline Reehl is quickly building a name for herself. Though she planned to go back to school for interior design, the success from her floral works of art has spun her life around—into one continuously at the wheel, elbow-deep in wet clay.
Mostly by word of mouth, news of Reehl’s beautiful ceramic vases has quickly spread. She’s had commissions from residents of Atlanta, Nashville, Mobile, and Birmingham, to name a few, and her clientele is growing rapidly. I, for one, cannot get enough of her unique vases, some with lilies dancing off the rims or roses trickling around the sides.
Southern women are the biggest inspiration for Reehl’s work as a whole, with each depicted flower representing inner strength and outward beauty. Every flower—none exactly like another—is made to symbolize a different facet of a woman’s character. Reehl describes the blooms she makes as “fragile, sharp, strong, sensitive, or sensual.” Some petals are almost perfectly rounded in refinement, and some are whirling about, full of spontaneity and allure.
Reehl garnered her inspiration in college and began using the flower motif while she was growing into her own as a woman—the kind of woman who loves to dress up with her heels and pearls, but who also loves getting her hands dirty in the clay or water skiing on the Mobile Bay in her hometown of Fairhope, Alabama.
Reehl makes each petal on every vase by hand, which is very time consuming but gives each vase its own personality. “By the end of the process, the roses or lilies are talking to each other,” Reehl says—which I think fits nicely into her Southern women theme, because let’s be honest… What Southern woman doesn’t like to gossip?
Each vase costs between $100 and $500. To order your own or to contact the artist directly, visit her website at www.carolinereehl.com.
In response to the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf, Caroline Reehl has organized an event to benefit the Mobile Baykeeper. Art & Wine Spill, featuring nine Gulf Coast artists, will be on Friday, July 30th, from 6 – 9 p.m. at wmCM Studio in Fairhope, Alabama. If you’re in the area, please go check out some fabulous art and support a great cause! The event’s Facebook page can be found here.