Queen’s student launches artistic clay business

Cristina Foschia sells her art on Instagram

Queen’s student Cristina Foschia created an Instagram-based clay business during quarantine.

Cristina Foschia first discovered her love for artwork through her mother.

“My mom paints and does a bunch of little artsy things,” Foschia said in an interview with The Journal. “I used to go to craft fairs when I was younger. I had all this clay and would make little keychains to sell while she was selling her actual work.”

Foschia, ArtSci ’22, has been contributing to the Queen’s art community through her popular clay work, which she sells on Instagram. She sells a variety of hand-made pieces, including jewelry bowls, incense holders, ornaments, rolling trays, and body statues.

When quarantine started, Foschia picked up her passion for artwork while searching for hobbies she could do at home.

“I started creating and thinking, these are actually pretty good, maybe I’ll start selling them,” said Foschia.

Since then, she’s launched her Instagram page @claybycristi, where she’s received close to 200 orders of jewelry bowls. Foschia currently handles orders through her direct messages, but is hoping to expand to Etsy in the future.

“I usually make three new items every night, so I have something to post for the next day,” she said. “Usually, orders are done the night of.”

Foschia’s favourite piece she’s made is the silk sheet tray, which can hold jewelry and skincare, or be used just for decoration. Foschia also said she makes items she hasn’t seen online before—her jewelry bowls and trays are unique to her personal style.

“I haven’t really seen anyone else make the products that I do,” Foschia said. “Every other clay Instagram [account] I see is primarily earrings or keychains.”

Additionally, making the clay items is a cathartic experience for Foschia, who calls it a “kind of stress relief.” She joked about the fact that there was a worldwide clay shortage during the first wave of quarantine in Canada.

“You really get to pound it,” Foschia said. “After I work with clay, there is no longer a stress in my life.” 

The artist added she’s grateful for the support from the Queen’s community since launching her business.

“A lot of Queen’s students have bought my items, and not just my friends, which has been really nice,” Foschia said. “The actual Queen’s community have really supported me a lot.”

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