Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Interview with Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

By Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

Q: Basics?

A: I currently live in Needham MA with my wonderful and supportive husband, Kevin, but we desperately want to move to Colorado or Alaska! I work for the Potters Shop here in Needham and in exchange I get my studio membership, clay, glaze, firings, and personal space which allows me to pursue being a potter until I am able to have my own studio. I recently quit a part time job at Newbury Comics (my other love, music) to allow me to focus on pottery alone.

Q: How long have you been doing your craft?
A: About five years all together. One and a half on, two and a half off, and have been back in it for about three and a half.

Q: Where do your ideas come from? What inspires you?
A: I love traditional Asian art so the majority of my work integrates that somehow, through techniques, imagery or glazes. I love warm and rich glazes, ones with beautiful variation in them that you appreciate most when the pot is right up in your face. I use earthy tones; browns, oranges, creams, greens.

Q: What do you love most about what you make?
A: The comfort and beauty that pots bring to everyday life. Eating and drinking are so much more enjoyable and contemplative when served from a beautiful piece. It's a joy not enough people have.

Q: How do you promote your work?
A: This is something I'm still figuring out. I use the internet (facebook, myspace, twitter, etc) but it only seems to do so much good. I think pots are something that you really need to see and touch to know how you feel about them. I try to make the most of my pieces in the studio gallery where I work. Open studios and gallery openings seem to be the best opportunities to create a buzz.

Q: How long have you been involved with Etsy and what have your experiences been?
A: I've had an Etsy shop for almost 2 years. I'm pretty happy with it, at least compared to other sites I've sold on. It seems like the shoppers are fairly well educated with the crafts that they are looking at and also that they have something specific in mind when looking, for better or worse.

Q: Name your top five musical groups:
A: phish, jay-z, led zeppelin, bjork, minor threat

Q: In ten years I'd like to be....
A: Selling and making pots out of my studio in the barn next to my house at the foot hills of the Rocky Mountains, looking out the window at my llama pen, and sending off photos of pots for books and magazines to publish.

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