Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fun & Funky in Phoenix

Marianne "MAK" Kasparian lives and works in the Phoenix Arizona area and is the first Raku and jewelry artist featured here on So Cal Potters. She is also a busy mom and restaurant owner. I am allways fascinated by Raku and the incredible metalic colors that can be achieved. I did a little raku a very long time ago but do hope to experiment with it soon.
Why clay? I love the feel of clay in my hands and that the possibilities are endless! Working with my hands is a must. Though many potters detest glazing, I actually enjoy it! I’m really into colors and their combinations and take my time to envision the outcome of what I think the glazes will look like after firing.
If not clay, what? I would have to say that if I weren’t working with clay, I would focus my attention on sterling silver and PMC (precious
metal clays). I have to keep a little clay in there somewhere! I also love copper of course! Metals in general and combining them with gemstones, especially turquoise.
What get’s you in the mood, what inspires you? I’m inspired by anything funky, eclectic and down to earth. I am Armenian and am also inspired by the many cultures of the world. As far as getting in the mood goes….well…I like to be alone and not have to be on a schedule when I create. Sometimes, I work in complete silence and other times I crank the
iTunes. Mostly alternative and anything from the 70’s to 90’s. Though I like a lot of the new stuff too!
Who is your favorite artist/artists and why? This is a tough one! There are so many great artists out there! I don’t really think that I have one favorite. I do love the work of
Toshiko Takaezu. Her work is amazing! It’s down to earth and exudes peace and calm. I also love the work of David Roberts who is a naked raku artist. I recently took his workshop and it was fabulous. He and his wife are wonderful people. I love David’s work because it has such great energy.
What’s your favorite cuss word? Well, I really try not to cuss since I have a little boy. I definitely had to work hard on this one since I am a former bartender and those words used to come out often!!! These days I say fricken a lot!!!
What is your favorite pleasure? Dining out and traveling for sure! My husband and I just bought a restaurant in Scottsdale (a little plug!).
Centro Paninoteca, check it out if you are ever in the area. . I love sushi and Thai food especially. Someday I will get to Italy.

What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice? I would say, “Thank God for the Internet, Google and YouTube!!!”. You can learn so much!!! Other than that, I would say, definitely take a little class to get your feet wet. You can find many great classes through your city arts programs, local community colleges and even local ceramic artists.
What do you think of the handmade movement and the artist as activist, or artivism? Super! Sites like Etsy have really helped bring handmade to the forefront.
Can you tell me about your process, when you go into the studio do you have a set idea or do you just go with the flow, let the universe guide you? I work out of my home studio and mainly with the raku process. My hubby helped me build my raku kiln. I mostly go with the flow and let the universe guide me. But, from a bottom line perspective, I need to see which pendants sell in my shop and produce certain pieces more often. Of course they are all unique as I make each piece one at a time and the raku firing process creates so many varying results. I do wish on occasion that I were more focused and schedule driven, but that’s just not me!
To see more of Mak's work be sure to visit her
website and her blog or check out her Etsy site to purchase some of her creations. Thank you Mak!


MAKUstudio said...

Thanks Chris! Hope to see you in Phoenix one day!

MAKUstudio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ginny said...

Fantastic interview! MAK is not only a super talented artist---she's kind, generous and all-around amazing! I'm honored to know her :D

Anonymous said...

Cool interview! Excellent Blog spot!

Todd said...

I love Mak's work!! Great feature on a very talented artist!
Todd in Santa Fe

Swanee said...

I've seen Mak's work on Etsy. Her pendants are beautiful! It's always nice to learn about the artist, and this was an interesting interview.

Chris McCormick said...

Thanks, Im glad you enjoyed it!

Melody said...

Interesting article about a wonderful artist! Thanks, I really enjoyed reading it.

lisa peters ART said...

Congrats Maku! Awesome Article!

thebeadedlily said...

I love Mak's work! It's great to see her interviewed here and I like some of the funky questions!

Susie said...

Very beautiful work and nice write up. The photo's make me want to reach out and grab the pieces. I do not know much about pottery - I have enjoyed reading some of your posts and write ups.

Tara Robertson said...

I love Mak's work. Always beautiful colors and forms.