Handmade Pottery-Interview with deborah of dgordon
I suppose I've just had this big thing with handmade pottery lately. It all started when I was at a beautiful little consignment shop in downtown Franklin, and I noticed some pottery. I wanted to reach out and touch so bad, but I was scared to death I would break something!
I jumped on Etsy and started browsing pottery. My attention was drawn to this especially lovely pottery from the shop, dgordon. I was immediately impressed by the design and quality of this beautiful handmade pottery.
So much in fact, that I decided this shop was perfect for my Monday interview! I mean, who wouldn't want to get to know the artist behind such amazing work?
Here we go!....
Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.
My name is deborah (yes, a small d, just like I sign my pottery). I live with a wonderful man who for the past 12 years has been my biggest supporter where my art is concerned. Words I hear often from him are "deborah! DO NOT throw that piece out, someone will love it!" I'm very critical of my work, and he's almost always right!
My "day job" is taking care of my elderly parents. When they came to the point of needing to hire an aid for my mom, I said No, hire me! So I have the best of all worlds, working for employers who I love, doing what comes natural, and having time for my pottery.
My dad is a potter, our kiln is in his studio (garage).
I have two beautiful grown daughters(both of whom have etsy shops, and a g-g-granddaughter (still cant quite get the word grandmother out..Im not "that" old!)
What do you make?
I create pottery. Trinket dishes with detailed pictures... dragonflies, owls, Victorian looking pieces, wall vases, bowls, sushi sets, bread platters. Almost all of my work at this point is hand built now with pieces of vintage lace used to make impressions.
When did you start creating, and why?
Well, I've always had one form or another of art in my life, I used to illustrate children's books that I wrote, did water colors, writing, decoupage, and now pottery for the past 6 or so years. The why part is because I "had" to.
But more specifically, I started doing pottery because 12 yrs ago I left my husband and moved from NY and a chocolate company I ran, to Florida where my parents live and I was at loose ends. My dad who's a potter said "let me teach you clay." I started it to please him (yup, I'm a daddy's girl) and after a few months I realized I LOVE the feel of clay under my hands. I LOVE watching an idea form under my hands... and more often that not, my hands just move with the clay and whatever forms, forms without my thought or guidance.
Tell us about your studio and creative process.
wellll.... my "studio" is scattered all over my home (literally)!
In my den is where all my tools, clay, boards, everything, is stored. My bedroom is my packing area. Huge rolls of bubble pack, boxes, tape, all that you need to ship fragile pottery is stored there. The bed is my packing table.
And finally..the place the pieces are born.. the living room. I spread a plastic table cloth over the carpet, lay a cheesecloth covered large piece of sheetrock on the floor, my rolling pin, wooden tools, lace, stamps, hairdryer, all the items I use in creating lay next to the board. 25 pounds of clay at a time sits next to that, and I sit cross legged on the floor and hand build.
Do you have any inspirations, or someone you find especially inspiring to you?
My inspirations are nature. Everything I do is nature based, the designs, the flow of the lines on my larger pieces. And of course my dad and his work.
What is your favorite piece you have created?
That is an easy question! I have to say my favorite one was an accidental piece. I made a bowl on a pedestal. I stamped in large letters the word DREAM on a separate piece of clay and attached it inside the bowl just under the top of the rim. I then glazed it in a glaze I had never used before, Malachite. When it came out of the kiln I stopped breathing. It was magical. Honestly. The glaze had melted/run down the letters in a swirl, smokey type of a way so that it looked like something you would see in a dream. I've never been able to reproduce that look.
Do you attend art and craft fairs/shows?
I used to when my boyfriend worked nights and could help with set up during the day. I had a love/hate relationship with shows. I hated preparing and setting up and taking down. I loved watching people touching and commenting on my work. And of course shows are so iffy. You never know which will be good ones, which will be duds. I haven't done a show in about 2 yrs now.
Do you have any hobbies or other things you do?
I love cooking and baking, I guess that counts as a hobby :)
Who is your favorite musician?
I LOVE all the oldies, music from the late 50s, and early 60s. Earth Angel, In the still of the night..that type.
And classical music. BIG fan of that!
Where else on the web can we find you?
My etsy shop.. http://dgordon.etsy.com
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
Hmmm.. I guess the "funnest" fact I can think of is, I'm psychic. Have been since I was a little girl. Dreams, knowings, reading objects. Sounds nuts, I know... but there's no denying it.
deborah, it was fantastic getting to know you a little bit! I see we both love classical music! For myself, anything piano, so of course Beethoven and Chopin!
It was my honor to interview you, I can't wait to see what creations you have in store for you shop!
Visit deborah's shop at dgordon on Etsy.