Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Interview: potter Lucy Fagella

Finally we have another ceramic artist's interview. I've been busy with working, moving, and traveling, and I haven't made time to find artists to interview. So I was excited to get Lucy's email last week. I've followed her blog for a while anyway and she's a wonderfully skilled potter. Take a look for yourself. I still plan to continue the artists interviews as long as I hear from them, but if I'm m.i.a. from my blog, I'm in the studio - it's that time of the year!

Vital statistics (name, age, location, link to website/blog)?
Lucy Fagella, 45, Greenfield, Ma. luciapottery.com, lucyfagellapottery.wordpress

Where do you work in clay?
Greenfield, Massachusetts, renovated barn.

Do you have another job?
I teach adults pottery from my studio. I consider this part of my being a potter. Teaching keeps a great flow going to my work. The questions asked by students are a constant reminder of how the non potter, or beginner potter views pottery. That is important from the business side of selling work to the public. It reminds me not to get too caught up in just what I want to make as an artist, but to incorporate the potential customers wants and or needs for their daily rituals of using handmade objects.

Are your studio and occupation decisions made by choice or necessity? Please explain.
Most are by choice, some of the objects I make, or the amount of classes I teach are sometimes made from necessity... paying the bills!

How do you budget your time (in the studio and out - family, errands, etc)?
Mornings/afternoons from 8am-2/3pm is studio time five days a week no matter what. Then it's exercise of some sort, bike, ski, walk, or watch a soccer/basketball/baseball game of my two sons. Classes are three nights a week. Some Saturday's I may fire a kiln, do a Farmers Market once a month. Sundays are off... need one day completely away from the studio.

How concerned are you about environmental issues? Does this affect your work?
I am very concerned about the way a make a living and how it effects the environment... every time I fire the kiln! I really don't think being a potter is an environmentally friendly occupation. But there are offsets... like buying handmade, local, and the fact that I don't get in a car everyday and drive for miles to get to work.

What do you do when you're having a bad day in the studio?
I stop, do one of the many other tasks that need doing, like web stuff or blog stuff, or pay bills. Or like right now answer your interview, (as my back is killing me and need a break from throwing and trimming!) If all else fails, I get on my bike and ride!

Do you create art in other mediums?
Not any more, my hands are too tired from being a potter. My first love was drawing, and printmaking.

Where do you sell your work?
I sell at some shops. From my website. Many Urn companies carry my line of cremation urns, so many of my sales come from that. I have been wanting to open up an Etsy shop... hopefully very soon.

How did you approach those venues about selling your work?
Shops... I just brought samples of my work. The Urn companies came to me, and asked to represent me.

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be? (from potter John Bauman in the second Monday survey)
Make it so it would not have to be fired... wave a magic wand and poof, food safe, durable pottery, with no fossil fuels used in the process!


Anonymous said...

I want a renovated barn too!

Dirt-Kicker Pottery said...

Wonderful interview. I'm crazy about the pink cup and saucer sets.

Anna said...

On the sustainablity issue, a potter in NSW Australia has put in solar panels that feed back to the grid to offset his electricity use. He actually feeds back more than his kiln uses!

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