All fired up: Business started by Edmonton girls is turning clay creations into pottery gold

Millie Mulholland and her sister Ella are the potters behind Petite Pieces, an Edmonton-based pottery business that sells mugs, bowls and decorations.

They're seven and 10 years old, respectively. 

It's been nine months since the two girls started learning to make pottery and they're already emerging experts at throwing, firing and glazing. 

"I like when I don't know what to make and it just turns out," said Ella. Moments later, sister Millie dropped a mug she was making on the floor — but they agreed it was salvageable. It's all part of the creative process. 

"They see what I'm doing and they're like, 'Teach me how to do that,'"  said Emma Lakey, their pottery instructor at Viva Clayworks.

Trevor Wilson/CBC

"You're seven and you're 10 and you're making these Instagram-worthy pieces — it's amazing," she said. 

Lakey started pottery when she was around the same age as the girls, but she said their skills are far more advanced than hers were at that age. 

"I have a giraffe with a Santa hat that I bring out at Christmas and think, 'Why was I making this?'" she said. "They make avocado spoon rests; it's way better than what I was making." 

They spend hours every week at the pottery wheel and their mom has created an Instagram account to display their creations. 

Little Brick, a cafe and variety store in the Riverdale neighbourhood, approached them about marketing their crockery and the business began last October.

Along with mugs and pots, they sell small "joy rocks" and donate all the proceeds to a charity, which they choose each month. The rocks are the girls' take on worry stones: smooth gemstones people rub to calm anxiety.

The pint-sized potters know how to make simple things beautiful and it's an esthetic the girls believe in. "Little things make a big difference," said Millie.

Chelsea Mulholland/Instagram