Monday, July 20, 2009

Interview: Jim Gottuso

For my 100th blog post I give you the weekly interview, today from potter Jim Gottuso in Kentucky. Cheers!

Vital statistics (name, age, location, link to website/blog)?
Jim Gottuso, 51, Louisville, KY,

Where do you work in clay?
In the back room of my house

Do you have another job?
I have a 4 1/2 year old but no other paying job

Are your studio and occupation decisions made by choice or necessity? Please explain.
If you mean decisions about what I make then both. If I have a commission then it's by necessity (the necessity being the need for income); if I'm just making stuff, it's what I choose to make. That being said certain things sell better than others so I always make a bit of both.

How do you budget your time (in the studio and out - family, errands, etc)?
Wow... there's not enough time to write it. I have 4 year old and I watch her solo every sat. and sun. (so i don't even attempt to get anything done on the weekends). Weekday mornings I do blogging, email, (any computer tasks, including photoshop, submissions, etc.) for about 1 to 1/2 hours. Then I try to run household errands before noon and go to the studio after lunch (if no errands, get there earlier). Work till about 7 usually but often later. Have dinner with the family and put the little one to bed. Check in on the computer before bed.

Why do you make pots (or sculptures)?
I've always loved clay since first being exposed in undergraduate school. I put it off, starting and running two businesses with my best friend. Although I certainly wanted to do those things (the businesses), a part of me couldn't see how to make ceramics work economically... sometimes I regret not going through the hard times with clay earlier only because I would be so much further along in my progression and experience as a clay person if I had.

How concerned are you about environmental issues? Does this affect your work?
I'm pretty concerned and vacillate on how to deal with my concern. We are very conserving of energy and water as a rule, no AC last summer in KY; don't leave appliances on or lights on when they're not being used. We're vegan (that's probably the biggest thing). I've never owned a new automobile. I do all my shopping within 2 miles from my house so we don't drive much. I fire electric and am very careful about having large densely packed kiln loads and I fire to ^6.

What do you do when you're having a bad day in the studio?
Go get my daughter and give her a hug and chat for a bit, go find music that I really want to hear, put that on and get back to it.

Do you create art in other mediums?
Not currently; I have over the years done a good amount of sculpture, drawing, woodworking and graphic and web design.

Where do you sell your work?
mostly in galleries currently... about 3 in town and some out of town galleries as well. shows and i'm trying to sell online (hint, hint), i also do an annual craft fair in town.

How did you approach those venues about selling your work?
One recently called me out of the blue, others i either called or visited or sent materials to online.

Do you have any questions you want to ask other ceramic artists, or artists in general?
No questions in general, although i always want to know what music each individual i come to know listens to and specifically what music they listen to when they're working. always trying to fill in the blanks i guess.

If I could change one characteristic of clay it would be it's bothersome obedience to gravity... antigravitation clay would be dreamy.


John Bauman said...

Enjoyable interview. Filled in some blanks about one of my favorite bloggers.

Patricia Griffin said...

Fun to read more about Jim. Love his work! Thanks Erin.

Michael Kline said...

Great interiew. As for music, Jim, I've been listening to some new Mates of State, Bonnie "prince" Billy, M. Ward. Sigur Ros is one of my favorites when I'm in decorating mode.

Erin said...

Michael, thanks for sharing your listening list. My bf & I are always looking for new music. We're already fans of Sigur Ros - saw them in concert @ Red Rocks last September. It was awesome! One of the most unique & beautiful concerts I've been to between the music & the setting.

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