We are going to the pool TWICE today, and I'm so excited about it! It's hot and humid in Atlanta, and I love it. I know that's strange to many, but summer is my very, very favorite time of year, and I'm glad it lasts a long time here in the South! We're going to jump in to today's interview, but be sure to stay tuned at the end for some fun announcements!
I "met" Lee on Instagram, and her kindness and creativity caught my attention. Plus, her foster kittens are heartbreakingly cute. I'm so pleased to introduce her to you today!
1) Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your hobbies, your creative background, etc. I come from a very nontraditional family. My mother was an entrepreneurial business owner and my dad was a closeted conservative gay man at a time when neither of these was socially sanctioned. I have consequently lived on the fringes and prefer unconventional and artistic people. I was a dreamy child and have lived as a full time potter for 40 years. Working in clay makes me happy! It's my primary work goal, and why I've remained a solo studio artist. I love having lots of unscheduled time to follow creative impulses, meditate, listen to audiobooks, care for foster kittens and cats, and hang out with people who are cultural creatives.
2) I love it when you show your dishes being used! What are your thoughts on the intersection of form and function? I deeply connect with the adage that form follows function. There is a primal instinct in humans to first make things and then a curiosity emerges about what that form can do. I start with shapes and imagery that delight and over time tweak them into functional objects. Even with my pieces that are purely sculptural I like them to sit on a surface or hang from a wall securely. I push for the functionality to emerge.
3) How is creative community important to your work? Having a creative community is important to me as a person in that it's a place to find understanding. Our culture glamorizes creativity but doesn't really understand what it's like to spend so much time alone with your own thoughts and creative flow. I really value contact with other artisans because we get each other in that way.
I'm uneasy with the more contemporary phenomena of crowdsourcing the pathway of my creative work. I'd rather trust my own instincts in that regard. I look to other creatives for camaraderie and sharing about marketing more than inspiration in my ceramic work.
4) What advice do you have for other designers and makers on their creative journeys? Being able to sell online has been a paradigm shift for creatives who want to make a living by selling their work. It is infinitely easier today! My advice is to use this but to not make selling your work the goal of nor the measuring stick of artistic success. Remember to grow and expand your personal creative vision, to keep it fun, to find the path that truly supports your highest aspirations. Dare to take risks! Believe in the power of your own authentic voice. And perhaps the most useful thing I can say as a seasoned creator: allow yourself to fail without feeling like a failure. Trying something new will inevitably bring false starts and blind alleys. It's part of the process. Any idiot can follow a path that's already paved. But true creativity is when you are out in the wilderness, forging ahead without knowing what's ahead. The path is made by your walking. You can look back and see where you've been but you go forward only by instinct and courage.
Thank you, Lee! Your work is breathtaking! And those kitties are terribly cute! All of these gorgeous photos are from Lee's Instagram @leewolfepottery, so, naturally, all you you should go follow her!
Now, a reminder-- today is the last day to use the code PERFECTPARTY20 for 20% off the Perfect Fit Quilt Pattern! Spit spot to the shop, friends!
Next, an announcement! My ebook, Anxious to Adventurous : 10 Weeks to Fabulous Free Motion Quilting, is launching tomorrow! My newsletter peeps will be the first to know, and they'll get a fabulous freebie that goes with the ebook and a coupon, too! You certainly don't want to miss out on all that, so be sure that you're on the list!
I'm so excited, y'all!! I hope you'll buy the book and find it helpful for #MachineQuiltingMonday as we continue practicing our quilting together! In the meanwhile, I'll see you on Instagram!