Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ricky Maldonado

So here we are almost a month and a half into the new year, I have been focusing my attention on other projects and have neglected SoCalPotters. But I am pleased to have as my first interview of 2009 one of my personal favorites; Ricky Maldonado. Ricky's work is in collections all over the planet and can be found in numerous publications. I first saw his work in person at the Armstrong Gallery in Pomona California and was in awe, I couldnt stop staring at it, amazed at the detail. His creativity is amazing and each piece that I have seen and been able to examine left me inspired. If you ever have the chance to see his work in person do yourself a favor and go.
Why clay?
Clay was my friend when I needed it. We now work well together. I love the feel, smell and challenge it offers me.
If not clay, what?
What inspires you?
For the most part nature inspires me. Then there is Architecture, but unfortunately there is not a kiln that I own or is built big enough, so I dwarf my inspirations of Architecture. There is also the human body that I'm experimenting with.
Who are your favorite artists and why?
Dali and Picasso. Their work seems to be about dreams for me. I often create from my dreams. I am a people person and when I see artists of all media creating it makes me happy to be on this earth.
The first time I saw your work I was drawn to it. Then as I got close and examined it I was in awe! I have heard that you get “two dots per dip”, but can you tell me about your style/technique and how you developed it?
I get one to 3 drops with the brush. I am experimenting with squeeze bottles and hope it helps to make my work go faster. For the most part my pieces are coiled, I sometimes throw small pieces to help fill up a show. I prefer coiling and hand building. The style is everything that has led me to what I'm doing now. So you could say that it's Ricky Maldonado style. 19 years of experimenting, classes, work shops and taking on challenges from both my friends and myself, have developed my skills.
I have always been curious what happens if you get to the point that you are almost done and you have a mishap and smear a whole area, do you scrap the piece and start over?
When I started the detailed work I used to sand it all off and start all over again. Boy did I make some big mistakes. But as years past I learned how to fix problems with slipping and glazing. If it turns out bad because I used the wrong color glaze I scrap it or give it to one of my friends or relatives.
What would you say to someone just getting started in ceramics who asks you for advice?
I tell them to listen to their teachers and do what ever it is they require of them. It will always come back to help you if you take it to a professional level.
What do you think of the handmade movement and the artist as activist, or artivism?
I really don't like getting into politics with my work. I will march or rally when I feel my rights as an artist and teacher are being taken away.
Whats your favorite quote?
" if you set out to make a beautiful piece of work and when it's finished and you think that it's beautiful from what you have learned, then you succeeded" Ralph Bacerra
Whats your favorite cuss word?
I like to swear so I say all of them.
I have heard in the past about a project you have been working on then got an invitation to join the FaceBook group for your Clay School, whats it all about?
The Clay school is dream of mine to bring all my clay friends into school and teach there methods and techniques to students of all ages. The comradery of clay artists/teachers is a fulfilling experience for anyone, even if clay does not become their chosen field. I think it helps to build character. It was planned 3 years ago and I didn't know we got our status (501c3) until recently. So I decided to reinstate it and start over one step at a time. It will work itself out. All I know is that there are friends/people willing to help unconditionally with the raising of money for the school. It will be located in Southern California. We will have an annual competition as well as student sales and hopefully a gallery and space for large work shops.
In looking at images to use I was thinking that there is an Aboriginal element to his work, I should have asked him about that!
I want to thank Ricky Maldonado for answering my questions. I have been pestering him for sometime; So thank you Ricky!


Linda Starr said...

Wow, Chris, excellent interview, when I see Ricky Maldonado's work it makes me want to try harder to improve my work, a lot harder. Thx.

storybeader said...

His pieces are beautiful - something that really needs to be viewed close up. Need to look at his on-line site!

Patricia Griffin said...

Great interview Chris. I love Ricky's creations, each one so unique. The time and care he takes with each piece is amazing to me.