Friday, 5 March 2010

FRIDAY - Friday Finds... EdanSchwartzPottery

Friday Finds... EdanSchwartzPottery

This is my 18th interview of the amazing not-so-well-known artists of Etsy!

Hi everyone! Hope you've had a great week and have an even more enjoyable weekend planned! I myself have just the usual to look forward to... pregnancy, my little boy and Etsy! I quite enjoy the combination actually although I do secretly wish that I wasn't whale sized, just for that bit of convenience lol!
Today I want to bring to your attention a lovely shop full of pretty cool and unusual pottery by Edan of EdanSchwartzPottery on Etsy. I was contacted by Edan over the weekend asking if I would like to offer an interview after he asked me to check out his work. And I was overjoyed really that he found me and asked! I love to reserve Fridays for not just the new artists, but some of the extremely creative and inventive ideas that float around on Etsy (some a little too quietyl!), to find out about the drives behind their passion as artists. Everyone on Etsy has a dream to make their handmade goods and businesses successful, but one thing that's hard to promote on a primarily craft based marketplace are the works of Art, particularly signiture works of Art and to my daily dismay Photography! Edan's work to me is a good example of the kind of artwork that is incorporated into something that would be every day, which turns it totally on it's head and makes it MUCH more than just something every day. Any artist has that big dream of their work becoming something more, maybe even collectors pieces and I think Edans signature pottery is something that looks like it'll go places in the future. Lots of hard work, dedication and word of mouth is what it takes to get things going so I agreed to interview him about his business because I am very passionate about Art generally as you all know, and really enjoy exploring people's creative nature. I wish him the best of success on his creative journey :) Happy Birthday for Monday the 8th by the way Edan :D Righty have a read of his interview, and enjoy! I know I did! Fab attitude and sense of humor :)

(Just click the images to go direct to the listings)

-- Tell me a bit about you! (Name, Age, Location, and give us a random fact whilst you're at it.) My name is Edan, I'll be 23 on Monday and I live in Cincinnati, OH. I just moved here from Minneapolis, where I got my undergrad in art and business. Minneapolis is a great city with great art and city life, but my girlfriend got a 'real' job in Cincinnati, so here I am!

-- What is your business about then? All of my pottery is 100% functional. Of course, it's about more than than just being useful, so I try to make objects that add a little bit of joy to people's daily routine. I think people buy art as a way of creating an identity for themselves, so I try to make pottery that helps others feel special.

-- How did Etsy come into your life? Hey, everybody's doing it, right? I think I first heard of the site from a friend's business card. But I think every potter I know either has a shop, or is familiar with Etsy. Etsy is probably the best way for someone like me to sell art online. I've looked into other ways of having my own webstore, and it's just not an option financially.

-- Are you working a day job too? Yes, I work part time at a pottery teaching studio/supply house/gallery in Cincinnati called Funke Fired Arts. It's a really neat place, and a pottery gem for a city as small as Cincinnati. And the benefits I get in terms of studio space, supplies, and advice are priceless for someone who is just starting out in the pottery business. I would love to make pottery full time, and it's definitely a goal of mine. But in the meantime, those student loans won't pay themselves!

-- How long has the artist in you been 'unleashed' for? Are you asking me to place blame? I guess my parents are an obvious scapegoat for unleashing my inner artist. My mom is a music and dance teacher, and my dad is a philosopher/poet/romantic/full-time computer programmer. Actually, my dad is really to blame for getting me started -- he was a potter himself back in the glory days of starving artists. We had an old potter's kick wheel in the garage, which is a really great toy for an eight-year old. In high school I somehow managed to take mostly pottery classes, and have stuck with it ever since.

-- What has been the inspiration behind your business? Most of the creative work just takes a lot of intuition. It's hard to say where that comes from. I think it develops through a long series of judgement calls. My girlfriend gets frustrated when I'm always saying my pots aren't good enough, but I think that is also what pushes me to towards new and more thought out design choices.

-- If you could describe your products in three words, what would you tell me? Living breathing pottery. Or maybe, Super Awesome Pottery.

-- What would an average working day for you be like from dawn til dusk? I start out every day by making a list of things I need to do. Otherwise I just wander around the studio all day like a lost soul! Around 60% percent of my time is spent actively making pots. The rest is business stuff: trying to make sales, photography my work and posting it on Etsy, attempting to organize the mess of papers sitting on my desk, etc. I know it's probably a fantasy, but I'm trying really hard to confine my working hours to a regular 9-5 work day. I've met so many artists who work every night and weekend, and just get burned out. I love pottery, but there are so many things to enjoy in life besides work!

-- What's your favorite material and techniques to work with? I work with a high-firing white clay that's kind of a pseudo-porcelain. It gets a nice white color, but is a lot easier to work with than pure porcelain clay. I used to very much be a wheel-oriented person, so I would just throw a pot and that would be that. Now I spend a lot more time altering my pieces than I do throwing. I like to press lines into bulbous forms, then watch as the pot seems to push out and expand from the inside.

-- What is your ideal vision for the future for you and your work? My immediate goal is to be able to at least make student loan payments from my work. I'm trying to sell wholesale to gift shops around the country. I would much rather let shop owners take care of all the sales and business stuff, and let me focus on making great pots. I'm planning a midlife crisis around 45 or so, when I will mostly likely drop everything and get my masters in public policy. Or maybe microbiology, we'll see.

-- Away from work, what do you like to do for fun or to wind down? I'm embarrassed to say, but it involves a lot of beer and trashy TV. At least I try to drink good beer, anyway!
Winters are tough -- for someone who grew up in the cold lands of Minnesota, I am really bad at staying active in the winter. During the summer I love to go hiking and grilling as often as possible. This is also the first year that I have a back yard, so I'm really excited about planting a veggie garden!

-- What are you likely to search for on Etsy? I bought almost all of my holiday presents this year on Etsy - a robot coloring book for my sister, a dinosaur USB card for her boyfriend, some paintings for my parents. Etsy is great when you don't know what you want to look for. I think they designed the site with the primary goal of helping people waste time online looking at really cool stuff.

-- Any last words? Thank you for featuring me on your blog! I am completely humbled by the huge community of artists and art lovers online. The internet is such a bizarre place sometimes. I'm glad to help you make it a bit more interesting and beautiful!


Kirsten said...

Great Interview. Best of luck to you Edan with your Pottery business!

joanna said...

Beautiful pottery!

Forty Two East said...

I love the mugs. Very beautiful work.

Artesia said...

Groovy pieces!

cabin + cub said...

Love the mugs! Hope you have a happy weekend! ;)

Cindi said...

what cute pieces!!!

Evelyn Markasky said...

Very nice, I love the faces in the mugs!

My Life Under the Bus said...

Love the colors of the glazes !!! : )

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