Stephen drove down from the Grand Traverse area of Michigan to spend the evening with us in the gallery. He shared how he creates these vessels. Personally, I think he is a closet engineer.
Did you know clay shrinks two times during the making process? During the drying stages and the first kiln firing (bisque) and then again during the glaze kiln firing. Steve needs to drill precise holes in the top and bottom clay sections. He keeps his fingers crossed that the holes do not become distorted during firings. If all goes well, then, he is able to select his reeds for creating his gorgeous baskets. I had wondered where he got his idea for making these types of vessels. Several years ago, A maker told him that there were baskets being made on the East Coast that start with a piece of wood for the base. It dawned on Stephen that he could create a base by throwing it on the potter’s wheel. He started trying different methods and slowly figured out how to create his own unique artwork.
One thing that I enjoy doing, is asking the same ten questions of our artists. We learn just a little bit more about him or her as a person.
Ten Questions to the Artist
Music. But, I have always has been excited by vessels, love ceramics.
Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?
No. I let the materials guide me.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
Be a doctor, Really, no blood.
Who are your favorite artists?
Monet, all impressionists.
What is your favorite tool used to create your work?
Scribe tool from Home Depot. It has a little hook that I use to complete a basket.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
Awesome because what will you say when you look at the Grand Canyon what word would you use.
Who is your favorite musician?
Colin Hay (men at work), Drew Nelson.
How much formal education have you received? Related to your craft.
BFA in ceramics, plus a minor in painting.
Thank you, Stephen, for taking the time to answer our questions. We appreciate it.