Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sierra Pecheur

Following is the first of what I hope to be a long series of interviews with potters, ceramic artists. I decided to make up a list of questions. Some more serious, others not kind of like "Actors Studio". Fitting that my first interview is with Sierra Pecheur, Mother, Ceramic Artist, Actor.

Why clay?
I started as a painter and drawer. In New York City I became an actor as an adjunct to being an artist I was fortunate to work with two master story tellers, John Vaccaro director of The Playhouse of the Ridiculous in New York and Robert Altman in Los Angeles. From them I learned there is no wrong way to tell a story. Commit absolutely, go where it leads; the unworkable will be forced out. Since then storytelling has been crucial to my work. (IMDb, Sierra Pecheur)
I moved to California in 1973 and stopped painting. In 1985 when I began again I chose clay because I had no preconceived
ART ideas to inhibit me. It suits me well, for me it is drawing in the round. In 2002 I began DIG: An Imagined Archeo-logism, a story that never has to end.
Where do you like to work?
I build my work at The Clayhouse in Santa Monica, CA. And finish the pieces in my studio at home.
What gets you in the mood?
Since I started DIG I am almost always in the mood. I don’t have to think up a creative activity it is already in progress.
Do you listen to music when you work? I usually start in silence. Then it depends, classical Mozart, Beethoven, music that soars. I love violins & songs with lyric melodic lines or really strong base lines so rock, blues & rap.
What motivates your work?
Myth, how myths show up today, what are the myths of today. Heart break, politics, evolution, irony, whimsy, all is grist for the mill.
Do you like to work alone or in public?
I build and fire my work in a communal studio. I prefer to start alone. My hands in and on clay is my form of meditation. I can get pretty snarky if interrupted, that’s why it is best for me to start alone. Then as others arrive and the sound builds I can tune it out or join in as I choose. I thrive on the exchange of ideas and laughter over silly stuff.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
Arthur Rackham early 20th century English illustrator his gnarly and gnarled fairy tale images. Dante Gabriel Rosetti & John Millais pre-Raphaelite painters for their lush stark beauty. Hieronymus Bosch & Pieter Bruegel the elder, hell on earth.
What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice?
If, as a child, you loved playing in the dirt and you still have a hankering, go for it. Or if you discover you love the feel of clay keep playing until it becomes a part of you.
What’s your favorite cuss word?
What is your favorite pleasure?
Finding peoples hidden, daring, moving, critterdom.

Thank You Sierra!, Good Luck with the show.

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