Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Guest Artist-Lynne Meade Porcelain Potter

I have a real love of good pottery, potters and ceramic artists. Here is the first of two interview/guest blogspot featuring two different amazing and talented women, both potters. Each with a unique style, personality and gift of beauty to offer the world.

This first one features Lynne Meade from Oakland, California who I chanced to meet while I was in the San Francisco Bay area in June.

Please check out her website at:

The Interview

1.Tell me about your ceramic work.
I make carved porcelain vases, vessels, tiles, and tile murals. They work is fairly intricate and time consuming. But I find it very calming to do.

2.How did you get started and how long have you been working as a potter?
I started working with clay when I was 8 years old. My mother bought me a box of modelling clay with many colors. I started making little animals out of it. Then one day I took a shoe box full of the animals to a local consignment store. I think I sold them for 25 cents each. Pretty soon I got an order for 25 of them that someone wanted to use as party favors. I was hooked. The summer between high school and college I called a pottery studio near my home and asked for a job. I ended up cleaning the studio in exchange for sitting in on classes. When I got to college I knew I wanted to be a ceramics major. Much to my father's dismay. I think he thought it was a joke. It was as if I said I was going to major in under water poetry reading. But I persisted and got a degree in art with a concentration in ceramics.

3.Describe your workspace/studio.
I work in my garage. When I was house hunting I always asked to see the garage first. I knew that was where I would be spending most of my waking hours. My garage has 2 large windows overlooking a beautiful canyon. My work table faces the windows. I think I also have the only garage in the neighborhood with cable TV.

4.What are you most proud of as a potter?
I am proud of the work that I have done, the breadth of knowledge that I have about the material, the rapport I have developed with many of my customers. I love when people come to my booth at a craft fair and tell me that they have a few of my pots in their home and want another one. They tell where the pots are in their house and how much they still enjoy looking at them even after so many years. I strive to make things that will still be interesting to look at even after years of seeing them. I really want to make things that become classics. They don't go in and out of fashion. They stand the test of time.
I am also very proud of my ability to create opportunities for my work. It takes a certain persistence and determination to create a career out of nothing but my imagination and skill.

5.How often do you work?
I work every day.

6.How do you sell/market your work?
Marketing is the constant challenge. It's like a puzzle. You piece things together and just hope they work. I do three - five craft fairs a year. I sell through a couple of web sites and catalogues. I sell through a few stores around the country, mostly west of the Mississippi. I have an esablished group of local customers who just call out of the blue needing things. I do a couple of gallery shows each year. It's just a patchwork of methods.

7.What are you currently working on?
I have started a new line of sushi sets. I have several ideas for new designs, but there is never enough time to get to all of them. There is a constant list of ideas in my head. As soon as I get one idea done, three more come up and I know it will be months before I get to them because there are so many others ahead of them in the line.
8.What is your favorite: Color, food, smell, taste and sound?
I would say that blue is my favorite color. But green is a close second. I love fresh vegetables and salads.
Vanilla oil!!!!!! Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!! Waterfalls and fountains.

9.What other interests and hobbies do you have?
Oddly, I play softball. I'm not sure why I like it so much, but I'll play anywhere, anytime, with anyone. I meet a lot of people playing ball that I would never meet otherwise.

10.What is one thing your friends don't know about you?
I think I'm pretty much an open book.

11.How would you like to be most remembered?

I would like to be remembered as a good mother and for my work. I work incredibly hard for very little financial reward, but I am so happy with what I do. I tried to give it up once and I felt completely lost. I became another person. Very sad and incomplete. Now I wake up with so many ideas and projects in my head that I can't wait to get up and get started. Every day is exciting and gratifying. Even when I over fired the kiln and ruin a weeks work, I'd still rather be doing this than anything else.
12.Add anything else you feel ....
I also love teaching. I teach one day a week at a city run art department. I enjoy my students and love watching their progress. They inspire me as much as I hope I inspire them. Being a potter can be very isolating. Teaching is a very social activity. Most of the time I want to talk about pottery and people aren't really interested. It is wonderful to spend one day a week with people who not only put up with my endless need to talk about pottery, they actually are thrilled to hear it and ask all kinds of questions.
Before I started teaching I often felt like a little bit of a freak walking around in overalls, covered in clay. I felt like a stranger in the world. Once I started teaching I felt like I had found my long lost tribe. The people who are actually like me and understand me. I was a revelation.


Lenore said...

Loved this interview. I could relate to some of the comments made as a musician who sometimes teaches. Lynne's work is very beautiful.

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Anonymous said...

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today..................................................................