About

Hi! I’m Heidi Fahrenbacher (fair-en-bach-er). I am the woman behind Bella Joy Pottery. Each piece is handmade with the intention to make you smile, to bring you a little joy.

Heidi Fahrenbacher Bella Joy Pottery

I create Bella Joy Pottery for daily rituals - drinking coffee, eating lunch, watering your plants. Frivolous? Not at all! Life is better when you enjoy the small things.

I started Bella Joy Pottery in 2006, but my love affair with ceramics started much earlier. At 15, I took my first ceramics class and I was hooked. I was also awful. Awful. I struggled at the potters wheel for years, but liked the challenge. In college, I wanted to become a gerontologist. Before the beginning of my sophomore year, my dad sat me down and advised me to do what I loved instead. (What a good guy!) I went to the registrar's office and changed all my courses for the fall. Looking back, it was the correct decision.

Heidi Fahrenbacher at Bella Joy Pottery

I launched Bella Joy Pottery out of a former chicken coop in 2006. In 2017, I flew the coop, to a new studio in Plainwell, MI, smack dab between Chicago and Detroit. Each design begins on the pottery wheel with an original clay prototype before being turned into a mold and formed from liquid porcelain. Each piece is created, finished, and glazed by hand.

Heidi Fahrenbacher putting handles on a mug

I am obsessed with color. When I see something I usually think I bet that would look better with some red or blue or green. I am inspired by the contrasts that make colors really pop like neon lights on a dark rainy night, brightly colored flowers against all green foliage, and autumn leaves vibrant against a gray November sky. It is these details of color observation that go into my pottery.

I am a friendly introvert, which really confuses people, but it is true. I tend to find the silver lining in most things and if not, I can at least laugh at myself or the circumstances. I tend to be kind, but have a low tolerance for nonsense.

If I am not in the studio you will find me outside either laying in my hammock or laying in the grass, without a blanket. I currently live on a 40 acre farm with my partner Joe and two cats, Midnight and Buck. I am always in search of the best homegrown tomato. I love swimming, especially in cold water, dance music, old Atari games, pickles, and anything with tomatoes.