We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Rex and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
There are so many things that bring me joy, so here are my top 5. 1. I love to create. For me, it is very important to be doing something creative every day. It’s not always going to be ceramic; it is best if I get to mix it up. 2. I’ve lived on a Sailboat for the past 6 years. I don’t think this defines me per se, but I love how it keeps us living small, only collecting items that mean a lot to us, and makes the outdoors a significant part of every day. 3. My friends and family come before everything else. I truly believe that relationships give life meaning – we are innately communal people. I love that I am able to create art as a job, but I also feel very lucky to be my own boss, so I can make sure to be flexible and carve out time for all the relationships in my life. 4. I love learning. If that’s a new skill or about the culture of a place I am traveling to – immersing myself in something new is what keeps life on its toes. 5. I am a host at heart. I can be a bit shy, but I love having people over, food on the stove, and a boat full of voices and energy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Rex Design is a mix media collection of my art, ranging from drawings to functional ceramic sculptures and homeware. I personally design and hand-make all my work in small batches with the mission of creating art that will brighten your home and day. I’m inspired by the beauty of everyday life. So in my work you will see a range of embracing the female experience to the serenity and colors of the California Coastline. My art, which celebrates the female form, works to explore power and femininity. I find the female body in all its shapes and sizes to be one of the most mesmerizing parts of nature. I think it is very important especially today to embrace our bodies, health, and power we have as women. Through my work I try to create functional art and objects that embrace femininity, as well as the female body, and all of its parts. I strive to make work that is empowering, will make you smile, and hopefully start a conversation. When I’m not working with the theme of the female existence, I get distracted by the beauty of California. Living on a sailboat with my partner has given me the gift of slowing down the world around me. I’m blessed to be awakened by the bright skies and deep blue ocean of the California Coast that appear to make time stand still. Its simplicity and vibrant earthen tones can be seen throughout all mediums of my art. My path to making art professionally has not been a straight trail. I went to school for psychology and works as a behavioral therapist for children with autism and speech delays for a number of years. While this job was challenging I loved working with children and their potential for growth in the hardest of circumstances was consistency outstanding. I try to remember that tenacity when I come across a new business goal that I need to learn new skills to overcome.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A weeks itinerary would be a whole book, so let’s start with 2 days in Orange County where my shop is located. The first morning we start off at Neat Coffee in Costa Mesa for some topnotch cappuccinos and avocado toast. Then we will walk over to Rex Design, my ceramics and art shop, just two blocks away. Then we will walk over to Semi Tropic Wines to pick up some organic wines to take sailing on my home/ sailboat. Once we have enjoyed some relaxing sea breeze I am taking them to Mayfield Restaurant & Marketplace down in San Juan Capistrano for a delicious dinner and creative mixed drinks. Day two we will start with a hike in Laguna Beach, there are endless options. Then we are headed back to grab a sweet bite at Rye Goods bakery that just opened in Newport Beach. After that no matter if it is sunny or cloudy we are headed to the beach. Corona del mar has some pretty coves, I basically down for anything as long as I can get sand in between my toes and reconnect with mother nature. Lastly if Long Beach’s flea market is happening everything gets put aside for some vintage hunting, I just can’t help myself I’m a design junkie. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband Tom definitely deserves a shoutout. He has supported me every set of the way, as I embarked on becoming a small business owner, and trying to make a living off of creating art. Not only has he been there for the emotional ups and downs every small business owner knows too well, especially during covid-19, but he helped design andbuild out my art studio and shop that just opened to the public for shopping this past October.
Valerie Vogt Tom Goad Catherine Rex