My name is MB Augustina Mitchell, but my friends call me Gus. I'm the owner, designer, creator, mom of 4, pet lover, and crazy person behind the colorful world I like to call AugustaWynde Designs.
I grew up in a suburb adjacent to Detroit, where it was an easy walk to the lake and the park, and homegrown veggies shared the yard with 4 very active and creative kids. My mom loved to create, from cooking to gardening to sewing and painting, she taught us that the handmade touch passed on our love to others. We spent much of our childhood outside, and no creative pursuit was discouraged. My love of nature was cultivated through camping, swimming, fishing, and just being outdoors and listening to the ships horns and buoy bells on the lake.
My first real creative outlet was music. Music spoke to my soul, and gave this shy child a way to communicate my emotions to the outside world. I found my first love in the string section of the orchestra, playing the viola. I loved how it's rich tones wrapped around me, carrying me away. Music carried me away to college, and then to an arts conservatory on the west coast, where being surrounded by creativity was like heaven on earth. Eventually, life, practicality, and a series of ear infections pushed the pursuit of music to the background. I had a new family to immerse myself into, and a little boy I happily sewed and painted for.
Life can throw you some funny curves, and I found myself a single mom with a paintbrush and a love of creating, and a need to "put myself out there" as they say. I began dipping my toe in to the world of art shows, sharing space with my candle-maker mom, happily painting on glassware and some of my mother's candle containers. Then one fateful day about a decade and a half ago, another artist asked me "If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be?" "Clay!" was my enthusiastic reply. I'd always imagined myself with my hands in clay, molding and forming and sculpting. As fate would have it, she had an old kiln she was selling, along with some vintage slip-casting molds....and so began my journey into the world of clay.
As a trained musician with a love of all colors and the overwhelming beauty of nature, my style hasn't so much as evolved as it has spread like crazy ground cover. I've rescued hundreds of vintage slip-casting molds, which I enjoy using as a canvas for whatever strikes my fancy. I've always loved photography, so adding photos to pieces was a natural evolution. I enjoy molding and shaping stoneware and porcelain clay, making fun wind chimes, tributes, and crazy creatures that showcase my love of plants. Kiln-forming glass is another passion, and when I can combine it with clay it's even more fun for me.
Sometimes calm and serene, sometimes shockingly colorful, but always a lot of fun and made with a lot of love--that's AugustaWynde Designs!