Ellie Kotsianas-Christner’s Bug Pottery is special in more than the name

Susan EspirituNorth Knoxville, Our Town Neighbors

When I saw Ellie Kotsianas-Christner’s recent social media posts, I immediately thought of the saying, “She is just as cute as a bug,” which is exactly what her parents thought when they nicknamed her ladybug or bug as a child. While some nicknames don’t stick, Ellie’s “Ladybug” moniker did and has given way to a tiny ladybug as the signature on her pottery works. She says, “Using a tiny ladybug as my signature was an easy choice and I love meeting other people and their connections to ladybugs.”

Ellie attended East Tennessee State University to study advertising and art, coming back to Knoxville to start Bug Pottery where she makes colorful, functional ware as well as uniquely styled decorative vases.

Kotsianas-Christner shares her skill by teaching pottery classes and offers her own creations through craft shows, online orders and wholesale purchases through her website at Bug Pottery.

Ellie is not only special because of her unique style of pottery, but because of her determination to give back to those who have given to her in the past. When she was young, she got a rare staph infection that spread to her whole body and left her in a coma for weeks. She says, “I would not be here today without the amazing staff at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.” Ellie doesn’t just feel indebted to the staff at the hospital, but remembers them with every piece of pottery she creates by donating a portion of each sale to the hospital.

 All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to susan@knoxtntoday.com


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