Friday, February 8, 2008

Geoffrey Tjakra

Geoffrey Tjakra (Chai Ye Liang) MFA in Studio Arts (Ceramics) Terminal Degree from California State University, Los Angeles, CA, June 2007BFA in Visual Arts (Sculpture) from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of Arts, NJ, June 1994

I met Geoffrey at the Xiem Clay Center where he teaches Handbuilding & Wabi Sabi Wheel.
Why clay?
I like the way the clay keeps morphing in my hands with every touch. Clay is elusive in that it keeps changing its properties as the clay looses moisture. I like the idea that I am somehow connected to the earth, and I am directly playing with the five elements; earth, water, metal, fire and air which ultimately transform my ideas and imaginations into something very real and permanent.
Where do you like to work?
Somewhere quiet and peaceful, and in a relax state of mind. Mostly in my garage with the radio or TV on.
What get’s you in the mood?
A lot of free time, after browsing through books, after watching a good anime films or horror films, after seeing a good exhibition in a gallery or a museum.
Do you listen to music when you work?
Yes! I like the “doors” or with the radio on a station with a live DJ.
What motivates your work?
Everything and anything.
Do you like to work alone or in public?
Ideally alone, but when I am busy, I try to make use of any available time I have to make it work, so it’s usually during class time as I am demonstrating and in between teaching classes.
Who is your favorite artist and why?
I like Picasso for his creative genius and his freedom of creation. Nowadays, I like Tip Toland, Akio Takamori, Ron Mueck, and Lee Bontecou
What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice?
Never stop learning, always try new things, keep experimenting, keep at it till you get good at it, and always have fun.
What’s your favorite cuss word?
“Damn it!”
What is your favorite pleasure?
Watching my two and the half years old daughter discover new things or trying new things. Playing with clay.

Thank You Geoffrey!

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