Behind Closed Doors: Kelci Potter


Making magic with gold in the hills of Ojai, Kelci Potter, is a modern day alchemist of the highest order. When gold called, she listened, and luckily for us, she started creating exquisite ceremonial jewelry for the everyday. Come along and discover what life looks like when days are lived out with thoughtfulness and intention in the land of orange trees and sun.

How do you start your day? 

Mornings have become one of my favorite and most sacred parts of my day. I begin my day early, I put my kettle on for tea, and then go out to the tend to our ducks Rosie and Honey. Lately I have been thinking of this as a meditation. I give them greens and fruits and their food, I wash out their little tub and drinking water, and they in turn give me an egg. I go inside and feed Alchemy and Kintsugi our kittens, and Luna our sweet dog creature. I fill my teapot. I love sweet tea in the morning, either good old PG Tips or Leaves and Flowers, with maple syrup and raw milk. Then I light some incense and candles and I sit at my altar and meditate. This is a new practice to me, ignited in my heart by my recent Reiki course I took with teacher Amber Lee, though I have often thought of my daily life as a mama as meditation. 

As many mornings as I am able, I sneak out for a walk. I have found a very special hike behind my house where I find myself leaping joyously from rock to rock in dried creeks and climbing to a dipping pool I reverently call the Pool of Life. It is one I have dreamt of, and in my dream there is a deep spring in the center of the pool, full of life-giving energy, and in my dream I bring my children there in the dark, and we wade into the pool and dip our toes into this spring, which seems to not have an end. In my woken state, the pool is deep enough to sit in, and each time I visit the pool I lie back to submerge my naked body three times, baptizing myself. 

What led you to make jewelry?

I have always loved to express myself through many forms of art and through fashion, and making jewelry was one such aspect in which I could express myself through art. I began making jewelry from gathered shells and tiny bits of jade I found deep in Big Sur. I used scraps of Koa wood as well from my uncle who is a woodworker in Hawaii who works with diseased Koa and reforestation of this special tree. About 8 years ago my world turned upside down and I was suddenly and deeply drawn to work in and wear gold. I had dabbled in some metalsmithing classes prior, and had a torch at home. I ordered some gold and one night with my young sleeping babes in the next room, and my kitchen alight with the moon and candles, I formed my first gold ring. I felt like an alchemist and this deeply symbolic work in gold began. 


How do you find time to take care of yourself while running a business and raising a family?

This is a hard one, something I am learning to do but not something I have always done. I am a full time single parent, and self care has not always been easy for me. Since my return to nature however it has begun to flow and become something I have realized must happen in order for me to be the best mama I can be as well as the most creative artist and business woman. So I carve out this time. I steal away early for my walks before my children rise, and I sit in meditation.  

What practices do you have that support you feeling your best?

My meditation practice, my newly found reiki work, my barefoot hikes and my river bathing, and dancing all keep me feeling my best. I love to create spaces and beauty in my home and my everyday. I also love to create and form with my fingers new pieces of jewelry to cast in gold. 


Who or what inspires you?

I have always been deeply inspired by the natural world, the sea, the mountains, the rivers, trees and animals and flowers. I am also currently inspired by Beatrice Wood and Krishnamurti. Janaya Future Khan, Maya Angelou, Rachel Cargle.  

What is your food philosophy?

I believe in deeply nourishing foods on every level down to the love put into the preparation. I cook simply. I love to go to the farmer's market and connect with the farmers who grew the food. I find beauty in fresh and organic foods and find joy in cooking for my children. I love to use my hands and my friend recently shared a theory that I deeply resonated with; when a mama uses her hands as tools as I do when I cook and bake, her microbiome feeds the children’s (in their bellies) and they are connected through that quantum connection. Intuition.


What’s always in your fridge?

Homemade bone broth, raw milk, beautiful eggs now from our very loved ducks, fresh greens from Shear Rock Farms and our farmer's market, some sort of delicious organic orange wine, always butter. 


What’s always in your pantry?

Leaves and flowers tea, pg tips, cookbook dried mushrooms, chaga and reishi mushrooms, yeast for bread, sun potion adaptogens and such, Maldon salt...


Favorite cookbook? 

My alltime favorite cookbook is called Cooking with Crystal in Aspen. A staple cookbook in my life as a mama is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. The Esalen Cookbook is another favorite of mine because I worked with Charlie Casio, who was the Esalen chef for many years and author of this cookbook, tending to his goats in Big Sur with my young babes. We would walk them up the mountain and nibble poison oak and manzanita berries. Charlie makes the most incredible cheeses. I also spent a month living at Esalen learning massage when I was five or six months pregnant with my son Taj. 

What are you cooking?

I am really into making quiche and pie right now. The other night for our friend's birthday my daughter and I baked a Strawberry Strawberry Guava pie. It was a dream. This land has a strawberry guava tree which I have only seen in the mountains of Hawaii where I was born and where my Grammie still lives. We would make strawberry guava jam together and this pie evoked that cherished memory.  


What are you reading? 

I am reading the book my reiki teacher Amber gave to me, Empowerment through Reiki. I'm also reading The Urgency of Change by Krishnamurti. 


What are you watching?

My daughter and I have been watching a show together called Merlin as well as The Durells of Corfu.


What are you listening to?

Currently on my record player: Buffy Saint Marie Illuminations, Yoko Ono and John Lennon Double Fantasy, Nico Georis Shirley Shirley Shirley, Orpheo McCord Recovery Inhale, Kacey Johansing The Hiding

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