Hadiya Williams is the founder of Black Pepper Paperie Co., a Washington, DC-based mix-media art + design studio. Her work has recently been featured on digital and print publications including, Uppercase: Creative Adventures in Clay, Decorating DissidenceShoppe BlackPrint MagDominoDCist, and Travel + Leisure. With over 15 years experience in graphic design, she currently focuses on creating one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces that include wearable ceramic art, home decor, paper goods, and apparel. 


From the Artist

I spent a lot of time trying to find my voice through my graphic design work. I developed a distinct style but I always knew that my design was best suited for working with my hands. My subject matter is always centered around the culture of the African Diaspora. Creating handmade objects with clay that are wearable, functional or for display, allows me to tell these short visual stories with each piece. 

The adaptable nature of clay, the texture, the rawness, and the blank slate, make it a perfect medium for exploring cultural memory. Shaping and reshaping, physically, through the molding of the clay and abstractly, through the visual relationship of these items to the past.

The lineal artwork of Black Pepper Paperie Co. is inspired by the relationship between history, memory, ritual, Black culture and Black people across the diaspora. To define lineal is to speak of something in a direct line of descent or ancestry; relating to or consisting of lines. I hand-paint, hand-draw, or cut paper create these shapes, line work, and patterns that always feel connected to something spiritual and ancestral. My work is fundamentally inspired by those who, for centuries, have always managed to turn function into art.

Hadiya Williams is a designer/maker and native of Washington, DC. Her work has recently been featured on digital and print publications including Shoppe Black, Print Mag, Domino, DCist, and Travel + Leisure. With over 15 years experience in graphic design, Hadiya’s aesthetic is a combination of ancient West African art, modern western design, and ancestral memory.