If you are one of the many people visiting this website in search of a WTF mug I thank you for stopping by. Mugs are being reengineered to help ensure that there is more inventory, that the integrity of the mugs is strengthened, and that the quality remains high. Please check back later this winter/early spring for updates and a new online shop.
At 80, Paulus Berensohn possesses more energy and gravity than most of us in our prime. He has been an important part of the Penland community for 40 years and he has been, and is, a dancer, poet, artist, and sage. We talked on his porch in Penland back in August. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to do so. There’s not a whole lot that I can say here that he hasn’t said better. Enjoy this one, folks. It’s a good one.
Gail Kendall is an Emeritus Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From 1987 until 2011 Gail built (along with Pete Pinnell and Eddie Dominguez) one of the strongest ceramic programs in the country. Her tenacious faith in the power of education, sharing ideas, and the necessity of craft has inspired and influenced hundreds of students throughout the years. Gail is one of my favorite people and I am very happy to have this conversation for all of you. Enjoy!
Jeffrey Hatfield is one of three principal operators of Guild. Essentially, he works with display, but in a much deeper and inclusive way. His job is to set the stage for action and interaction. Think about how that adidas pop-up showroom looks, or the Roberto Cavalli windows are arranged, or perhaps the Wired Store. His company has far reaching ambition and in our conversation we talk about the beginning of Guild, Jeffrey’s kitchen training, management style, and his foray into grand theft auto. Enjoy!
Kate Bingaman-Burt is an industry onto herself. A graduate of the Univeristy of Nebraska-Lincoln, KBB now teaches graphic design at Portland State University, has published three books, and has clients that include Chipotle, Hallmark, IDEO, and the Girl Scouts of America. She’s been closely involved in Handmade Nation, teaches workshops, and organizes events (Design Week Portland). We talk about learning and teaching graphic design, what cool is, and how to work with seemingly soulless corporate goliaths (my words, not hers). Enjoy!
In the final interview from my time down in the Bay Area back in June I bring to you a conversation with the eminent Richard Shaw. A pioneer of the West Coast/Funk movement, Richard recently retired from teaching at UC Berkeley. We talk about how he developed his trompe-l’oeil work, working as a young man with future ceramic greats, and his recent time spent in Korea.
Christa Assad is one of the most visible American ceramic artists working today. She’s been working and living in Berkeley, CA for the past several years as a studio potter, and in between has lead countless workshops, been featured in a Carhartt apparel advertisement, and crowned the 2012 Ceramic Artist of the Year by Ceramics Monthly. In early 2014 she broke her back after jumping out of window to escape a house fire. We talk about getting derailed, starting back up, and how thinking changes after major life events.
Forrest Lesch-Middelton is a potter and tile maker who lives and works in Northern California. I knew Forrest way back as an undergraduate student at Alfred University. He was one of the big seniors. He’s continued on, making a clear mark as both a potter and businessman. We talk about his foray into tile, nerdy clay stuff like reduction cooling, and what a “real job” actually means.
Matthew Causey is a ceramic artist based in North Carolina. We met back in March a the NC Potter’s Conference and he’s since come to Portland, OR as a resident artist at the Ash St. Project. In this episode we talk about drawing, the speed of different processes, his early comic book and cartoon influences, and iPad etiquette.
Andy Furgeson is an Austin, TX native and currently lives and performs in the Portland, OR area. He is a children’s performer who weaves American folk songs into his routine, and, with some help from his puppets, introduces traditional music to a young audience. Andy’s musical background, singing at church as a kid, and playing in punk, rockabilly, and bluegrass bands inform his current style and sense of showmanship. He brings the rock. Enjoy.