Featured Artist – Meredith Chernick
Q & A
Q: Tell us a little about your art.
Q: Why did you start doing what you do?
Q: What makes you different from others in your field.
Q: What are your biggest influences?
A: I have many potters who I respect as craftspeople and artists, but my biggest influences have been my own pottery teachers throughout my life (I started taking pottery when I was 6 and have never stopped!) My current influences are my group of craftswomen, the LadyMakers who I talk with often and meet with online weekly during the pandemic. It is so valuable to have colleagues to bounce ideas off of when you work alone.
Q: What has changed since you’ve first started?
A: I have become more confident in the work that I do. Working on pots and evaluating them every single day helps a potter to see more clearly, to edit with a more educated eye and hand.
Q: Tell us something most people don’t know about your process.
A: Pottery is. a slow process! Each piece takes 4-6 weeks from start to finish I make each piece one at a time, by hand, either throwing it on the potter’s wheel or rolling out slabs and forming them. After I handbuild or throw a pot, it dries overnight and then the next day I will trim the bottom to have a clean finished foot, I will form and add the handle, and sign the bottom. The mug will then dry for at least a week, probably two (pottery dries slowly in the northwest!) before I can bisque fire it and fill the kiln with pottery. The first firning takes one day to fire, plus one day to cool. Then I glaze- not just one mug but an entire kiln load of pottery- this takes a few days! Next I load the kiln and glaze fire to about 2200 degrees, this takes one day to fire, plus about 36 hours for the kiln to cool. When the kiln has cooled, I sand the bottoms of the pots so they are smooth on your table, pack and ship! Whew!!
Q: Does your work comment on current social or political issues?
A: Pottery is political! Making pottery, buying pottery is political. The decision to make, use, and purchase handcrafted pottery pieces instead of mass produced, disposable items is not only a statement, but a movement away from blind consumerism and in support of independent, local businesses that contribute to your local community. Supporting locals supports and strengthens your local economy. The items I procure and use in my making process are locally sourced. Using pieces that are designed to last for decades or generations rather than weeks or seasons is a better choice for the environment and your budget. Anthropologically speaking, a society that uses everyday objects made by artisans is the sign of an advanced civilization.
Q: Where would you like to go next?
A: I am right where I want to be 🙂 (But more online sales are always a good thing!)