Interview with Petra Kaiser (Sandbox Ceramics)
1. What kind of environment helps you focus to create art?
I've always been a total product of my environment and am pretty particular about my studio settings. I'm easily distracted by chaotic messes and I NEED cleanliness and organization to feel my most productive and inspired. We built my studio to look peaceful, minimal and functional which is exactly what I need to feel motivated!
2. What inspires or influences your art?
I like my work to be simple and fairly minimal, but still playful. I'm inspired by lines and angles, textiles, how shapes interact with each other, shadows and abstract art just to name a few.
3. What is a typical week like for you?
My weeks vary quite a bit depending on where I am in the ceramics process. Some weeks are spent mostly throwing and trimming, some weeks are glaze weeks, and some weeks are heavy on shipping and running orders to shops. I keep up on emails and light studio cleaning every day as well. I don't have any employees or daily helpers at this point, so I've gotten very used to juggling all the craziness.
4. What art organizations, resources, or people have helped you support your practice in ceramics?
I've taken one ceramics class at a local community college which was great. That initial time to play on the wheel is what inspired me to buy my own and dive in head first. YouTube is also a great resource for learning. The most valuable learning experience was at an internship with a professional potter in Portland, OR. There's no better way to learn about production pottery and how to run a small business than to be in that environment every day. This ended up turning into a paid position with the company where I eventually became studio and production manager. My best advice to anyone in the arts is to reach out to people who inspire you and see if they need help with anything- you'll learn a ton and you never know where it could lead!
5. How do you make time to make artwork?
Making pots has become my full time gig, but when I was just starting out there was a lot less time to make between working and other life happenings. I would devote most of my free time and days off to learning and experimenting. I knew I loved clay and I simply made it a priority to make time for it :)