We have a new ceramic artist in the gallery, Leslie Koehler.   I met this potter 15 years ago in Vermont. The first time we met, Leslie introduced herself and told me that I didn’t look like a potter.  I laughed and said “Yes, I am.” Obviously, her comment stayed with me.  It made me consider what makes you an artist and a potter.  Was it because I am a small person? I must not have the strength to slug clay.  Was it because I didn’t have clay in my hair and on my clothes?  Or, did I lack the aura of being an artist?  Hmmm.  More to think about.  I love Leslie’s majolica work and her painting skills.  Please consider one of her pieces when you want a new piece of pottery for your collection or if you need a gift.  Plus, she makes custom wedding bowls.

Ten Questions to the Artist – Leslie Koehler 

What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?
Travel turns me on creatively, emotionally, spiritually. I have had the good fortune to travel much in my life, often to places where art  is very available and the opportunity to absorb design, color, texture are enormous. Spiritually, I love the ancient places of worship, old cities and ruins. 
Emotionally, I feel fed a full portion when I am in another part of the world seeing, smelling, feeling the vibrations of different cultures, hearing the sounds of different languages, music and most importantly the opinions of those who have lived a different life in a different culture. I just returned from a full portion trip: The West Bank in Palestine, Petra in Jordan, and Istanbul. 
I have been influenced by Japanese Ceramics, especially Tea Ceremony ware. I have spent time living and working with West African potters and love the simple yet elegant shapes and designs. Mediterranean ceramics especially Majolica ware of Italy are what I am most drawn to my work in the present phase. 
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If I was not a potter, I would be a cobbler or I would make stained glass windows. Perhaps I would continue my international work in Ceramic Water Filter development. 
What profession would you not like to do?
After visiting the insurance agent today, I would say I would never be and insurance agent, or accountant. 
Who are your favorite artists?
Paul Gauguin, artists of the Arts and Crafts movement, Japanese post card artists 1890 to 1945. 
What is your favorite tool used to create your work?
Probably my brushes, mostly cheap Japanese or Chinese ones. My wheel of course!
What is your favorite word?
Favorite word and least favorite word, I need some more time of that.
What is your least favorite word?
Favorite word and least favorite word, I need some more time of that.
Who is your favorite musician?
Anouar Brahem.  (Click on Anouar’s name to hear him.)
How much formal education have you received? Related to your craft.
BA University of Massachusetts, Art History.
Thank you to Leslie for answering our questions.  I always learn something about them and the artists/musicians that appeal to them, helping me grow as an artist, too.