Catching up with Summer Orr

First noticed Summer's work around town at some local shops and loved it ever since. We sat down saw the process of her ceramic work as well as managed to snag a new tattoo. She explores a lot of different mediums and does them well. She is crushing in the pottery scene for being only 20.

How do you like your coffee?

Very strong, sometimes with a little bit of almond milk and a lot of regret later.

We know that you currently living in Reno creating things and working here. Where are you from?

I’ve been in this valley the majority of my life, never quite straying from northern Nevada.

How did you get to where you are now?

Begrudging persistence.

You work with a lot of mediums (paint, ceramics, stick & poke, design, etc.), where did those inspiration come from?

Inspiration is funny because it’s fleeting. I often get solid “inspiration” by seeing different interactions when I’m just going about my day. Seeing two alley cats touch noses briefly next to an abandoned house on 4th street would cause me to pause and sketch that imagery out. Interesting looking plants, people crying in a coffee shop, a man neurotically scratching his thumb on public transportation. I’m a big fan of people watching, I always try to find little bits of inspiration in the mundane.

What was it like getting into tattooing? What did your first one look like?

The first tattoo I ever gave was to my highschool boyfriend, with just a sewing needle taped to a pencil and black pen ink. It was a brash, in the moment kind of decision that I think he might of regretted later. It was a very spotty, very painful cartoon rabbit head on his lower rib cage. I am not scared of causing pain anymore.

What is Waxmoth?

I read somewhere that a wax moth is a species that infiltrates beehives, eating the the honey, wax and even bee brood from the inside. When I first began using the name several years ago, I liked the idea of an insect that is usually harmless like a moth being so innately destructive. I have since then used the name as sort of branding of my personal work, ceramic/stick and poke/ or whatnot. It’s also my instagram handle, and sometimes you can find my pots with a moth stamped into the bottom.

We’ve seen your ceramics and prints at some local shops around town, where can people find these products to own?

Bad Apple Vntg. on Virginia Street is one of the local shops that I frequently and consistently display work in, but I am looking to branch out. This coming spring the Sierra Water Gardens will have some of my work as well, and you can always email me at for commissions/information.

What are your favorite parts to Reno?

Rancho San Rafael at night, 24 hour casino diners (Gold ‘n Silver, Diamond’s), local friendly coffee shops where the baristas remember your name (Bibo on record street), any of the many bodies of water and secret tunnels, and of course the Holland Project.

Any upcoming shows or some new stuff coming from Summer we can look forward to?

I am constantly thinking about or making new work. Watch out for a succulent/pot sale at the Sierra Water Gardens opening on April 1st. As the weather gets better I usually start doing more tattoos as well, which I post to my instagram account. I also collaborate with other local artists whenever I get a chance to, and will hopefully be showing some new work in the late summer.


Final last words?

If you try hard enough, the world can then open up like an oyster. Or a bear trap.


Like what you see? Follow her on Instagram @waxmoth

Feel free to drop her a line for commission work and collaberations.

Check out summers mix for driving her shitty Impreza to The Wedge on her day off. Cheers!