From lawyer to potter: Erin Hupp explains how she made an unlikely transition successful

ceramicist Erin Hupp

Photo by Aahlia Cole

Erin Hupp has been creating beautiful ceramics for more than 20 years. But it wasn’t until she was knee-deep in a successful career in law that she made ceramics her main gig.

Erin and I bonded at an event to celebrate her work at San Francisco restaurant Hilda and Jesse. As a lawyer, she worked with foster children, and having been a foster parent myself, we had a lot to talk about both at the restaurant and while we recorded the podcast!

After earning her law degree, the San Francisco-based artist practiced land-use and child-welfare law. But the call of her art was always making lots of noise at the back of her mind, and after giving birth to her third child, she decided to make an enormous change: she would pursue her art, but not just as a hobby—as a full time business.

Her focused approach—she marks every ceramics-related task on the family calendar—has paid off.

erin hupp at the wheel

Erin Hupp throws pottery on the wheel in her studio wearing an all black outfit. Photo by Aahlia Cole

Erin is now a professional artist known for her texturally-rich tableware. She partners with restaurants and interior designers to create site-specific pieces, all by hand on her potter’s wheel. You’ll find her work at restaurants including Hilda and Jesse, Californios, Nightbird, Sorrel and Pasta Bar.

Listen to our conversation to find out how she made the seemingly unlikely transition from lawyer to potter a very successful one.


Erin Hupp Ceramics

Erin on Instagram



Hilda and Jesse

Windy Chien

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Noz Nozawa

Erin Hupp + Hilda and Jesse article at Forbes

The Upgrade by Louann Brizendine

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

Video and audio editing by Sofija Jovanov.

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