WACO, Texas — Sophia Keys arrived in Central Texas loaded down in a mini van with her Mom, her favorite ceramics packed away and ready for her first-ever Spring at the Silos at Magnolia.
"My Grandmother is a stained glass artist and in the summer's I would go visit her and I would be given a basket of bluebonnets to copper foil," Keys said when asked her first-ever project she remembered making.
Keys owns and operates Apricity Ceramics, a dream business she didn't know she wanted to do until she was almost done with college and an Art History degree.
"It's an old Latin word," Keys told 6 News. "Apricity means the warmth of the sun on a winters day and that's what I want people to feel when they use my pottery."
Keys said coming home to Waco is special because she has so many relatives here who have never seen her work in person, only through the pictures and videos on her Instagram account.
"You know, it's amazing. I grew up coming to Waco when I'm visiting my grandparents and my great grandparents and it's been amazing to see the transformation," she said. "Even though I didn't grow up in Waco it feels like a bit of a homecoming for me. It's nice, you know, after the pandemic, it's nice to come home to something familiar."
Keys, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia, said she spent six straight weeks throwing and creating her countless ceramic pieces in preparation for her debut weekend at Spring at the Silos in Waco.
"I'm caffeinated and I'm very nervous but excited," Keys said with a laugh, admitting she got very little sleep and often worked multiple days and nights in a row ahead of the trip."
The once-little girl who grew up just one of many in a very artistic family said she wants people who may buy her ceramics to use them and not leave them on a shelf. Her wish is for those who have them, to make her pieces a part of your everyday life, whether it's coffee, or a potted plant.
A line Keys is particularly proud of is her Drops of Honey Collection, a line filled with bumblebees made out of real gold and found on trinket bowls, planters coasters and coffee mugs to name a few.
"There's a lot of mythology surrounding bees and every culture gives significance to bees and it's no different here," she explained when asked about the collection. "Bees are incredibly important to the eco system and the environment and they're something that people seem to be really afraid of, yet their, so gentle and harmless."
From the hum of the wheel where Keys makes her treasures, she admitted that every piece created has a small part of her that goes with it, even if it's somewhat frowned upon in the industry.
"Even though it's highly discouraged in the craft world to feel connected to each of your pieces because it's harder to let them go, I am still, just connected to everything, my hands have touched everything and my hands have made everything. How can I not put a little piece of myself in every piece that I make? I hope that energy is transferred through, that love," she explained.
Above all else, and on the heels of a pandemic we're all hoping ends, Keys said life is beautiful and her wish for everyone is hope and prosperity and nothing but happiness. That's what she hopes her pottery does for both people she's met, and those she most likely never will.
"There's a lot going on in the world and I want people to just take a second and remember that everyday is a blessing and even something as a coffee mug or a trinket dish can really take you out of the world for a second," she said.