An interview I completed awhile ago was published this past week on a website run by Julia Travers called ‘5 Questions for the Artist’. She asks the same five questions to artists working in all kinds of media. Julia writes, “this site uses a simple but meaningful list of questions to offer concise but engaging conversations with a variety of artists.”
This was a fantastic opportunity to reflect on my time in the studio and why I feel passionate about it. I tried not to overthink the answers. My answers may resonate with you or lead you to discover your own. There is no right or wrong answer here.
1. What is art to you?
Art is personal expression. As I’ve grown as a clay artist, I’ve learned to trust my own artistic voice expressed through shape, form, glaze and texture. Art is creative communication that is conveyed through all kinds of media. Music, painting, craft and cooking all offer artistic opportunities. For me, art generates a sensory reaction. Sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch can be stimulated through art.
2. What did you make in the past, and why?
In the past I mostly made traditional clay shapes on the wheel, mimicking what I saw my teachers demonstrate. It was a good way to learn technique and materials. Tall forms became vases or pitchers. Round forms turned into bowls or casseroles. My forms were rigid in structure.
3. What are you making now, and why?
Now I create hand-built shapes using a slab roller and pattern templates I’ve devised. I assemble the pieces I cut out and texture into the final product. This type of clay production feeds my ability for self-expression. I have let go of rigidity in favor of more fluid and organic shapes. I accept a ‘wabi-sabi’ aesthetic to achieve my desired outcome. I often incorporate a mixed media approach using collected and found materials to finish my pieces. I like making functional items that convey a sense of whimsy.
4. What are your hopes for the future?
Creating clay art is the easy part for me. My challenge is sharing, marketing and selling what I make. I’m working on improving those areas of my clay art business through my website and social media. I am so lucky to be able to go to my studio everyday and do what I love. I hope to continue on this path and grow as an artist.
5. What else would you like to say?
Thank you for the opportunity to be part of 5 Questions!
5 Questions for the Artist, © Julia Travers