When Melissa Tolar and Jonathan Ballak met in 3-D design class at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, art wasn’t the only thing that brought them together. “We loved to listen to jazz, go for long bike rides in the country, and cook crazy dinners—which we still love to do!” says Melissa. Her artistic career began with metalsmithing while Jonathan’s background includes sculpture, painting, and photography. They wanted to learn a new medium together, and their mutual interest in pottery sealed the deal.
“Handmade ceramics are interesting because they’re so tactile. You want to pick them up,” Jonathan explains. “They enrich your environment.” And that from-nature quality is something the duo explored a lot as they developed the pottery pieces for A Question of Eagles, which officially launched in 2011—as Melissa notes, “We’ve had epic road trips. Camping and hiking are a big part of our lives.”
The (now-married!) twosome resides in Los Angeles, and they create geometric jewelry and big, bold quilts in addition to their ceramic vases and lanterns. Which is all to say: A Question of Eagles is soaring quite high these days. —jane gauger