ArteFino 2018: EJ And Eva Espiritu's Cornerstone Of Art In Faith
Perseverance, passion, and the belief that talent is not solely one's own, but given with grace by God—this is the formula that has set the stage of success for husband and wife team, EJ and Eva Espiritu.
"I remember one time I thought, 'I’m talented, I know how to do this.' I was relying more on myself, but then I realized, it’s really God who blesses what we do in the proper time. Everything we achieve, we just give it back to Him. He’s the one who’s been giving us opportunities," explains EJ, lead potter and co-owner of Cornerstone Pottery Farm.
And opportunities faith has indeed opened for them, as EJ and Eva are now big name regulars at Manila's best curated art fairs, and have a sizeable following that they can boast of. They're well-loved for their eye-catching, inimitable ceramics, all of which EJ and his team of potters painstakingly make by hand and Eva helps design with her own artistic vision.
As a graduate of ceramics engineering from Adamson University, EJ has mastered the ins and outs of his chosen artistic expression. Experimenting with non-traditional methods to create and design pieces, he's successfully given Manila's discerning market—art collectors, restaurateurs, and homeowners alike—products that were previously unavailable in the country, all at reasonable price points and with the guarantee of durability and lasting beauty.
From rustic mugs to imperfect bowls, huge pots to dainty tea sets, and even quirky hanging decor to one-of-a-kind plates and spoons, Cornerstone Pottery Farm's Philippine-made products have become mainstays in the local art scene, re-setting the standard for what this art form can bring to the table.
With faith guiding their hearts and hands, moving this couple to continue their craft is also their desire to elevate locally produced goods and give back to the community. With each purchase made, customers not only come home with new items to beautify their home with, but more importantly, the knowledge that they've contributed to promoting local art and improving the lives of the craftsmen behind them.
EJ shares, "We can be Filipino when we start to be proud of our culture, heritage, and traditions—anything manufactured by locals. When we patronize our own artists, our own entrepreneurs, instead of other imported products, I think that’s one way of being a true-blooded Filipino."
"We also always tell those who buy from us is, 'You’re not helping a big corporation become richer. You’re helping individual families.' There are four families employed in our company. [Purchases made] are food on the table for these families," adds Eva.
Looking at Cornerstone Pottery Farm as a whole, it becomes clear that EJ and Eva's successes are not merely their own; their triumphs coincide with that of the Filipino's when buyers learn of the origins of their products, their victories are that of their employees' when they enjoy a steady source of income, and their wins are also that of God's, as His will is made real through their art.
It then comes to no surprise that this all-around creative couple made it to the list of handpicked participants at this year's ArteFino once again, one of the metro's premier Filipino art fairs that highlight top-tier crafts made in the country.
Never cutting corners in their practice of art, fairness, and faith, EJ , Eva, and Cornerstone Pottery Farm are undoubtedly bound for more great things to come!
Video by Marie Francia, Marnie Giron, and Berwin Coroza
Video editing by Berwin Coroza
Photos from @cornerstonepotteryfarm @ejespiritu