Monday, September 14, 2009

Instructor Introduction: Glynnis Lessing

Here is a new feature to the Lillstreet Clay blog in which our teachers take a minute to share a bit about themselves. Each instructor has graciously filled out a set of questions that, we hope, will give you a bit more insight into who they are, where they come from, and why they do what they do. If you would like to learn more about our teachers, just scroll on down to the end of the interview and follow the link to their website (provided they have one). Make sure to come back every Monday and Wednesday for a new Lillstreet Instructor bio! Without further ado, we present Glynnis Lessing...

Please tell us a little about yourself; your name, background, education, and a fun fact or two.
My name is Glynnis Lessing, I grew up in the Midwest and attended the University of Minnesota and also MacAlester College in St. Paul.I have two children (who are both pretty good at clay). I love bike touring and photography. I also love history, especially pre-history.
When I was 11 my mother started an intentional living community on a farm in Wisconsin (okay, yes a commune.) My honeymoon was biking and camping through Europe for 7 months.

How long have you been working with clay and how did you get started?
I first thought I learned to throw when I was about 10 years old. I was hanging around the Carleton College art dept. and Noboru Kubo was there visiting a friend and he showed me how to throw and ignited my interest in pottery. In high school, I was very lucky there were wheels and a cone 6 kiln in the art department - I mixed glazes and ran the pug mill there.
When I was 16, my first job was assisting a potter; and then of course, Warren Mackenzie was still teaching at the University of Minnesota when I majored in art there.
I came to Lill in 1989 after meeting a potter at an art fair who was, at that time, working there. It was one of the very best things that has ever happened to me!

What are your influences, both inside and outside of the clay world?
Bob Broderson, the potter I worked for has had a deep and lasting effect on my aesthetic approach to ceramics. Warren Mackenzie is incredibly eloquent about form and all things clay. Matt Metz certainly opened my eyes to the possibilities of slip and Bob Briscoe continues the eloquence -- I learn something from him every time we speak.
Lillstreet in general- so many of the teachers there have helped me become a better potter.
Outside influences would be nature, pots from old cultures like Greek, Anasazi, pre-Colombian pots like those of Ecuador, Panama, the Moche of Peru; Teco Ware Art Pottery, Art Nouveau in general because it is so closely tied to nature.

Do you sell your work? If so, how can one find it?
Yes I do; I often have a home sale around winter holiday time and also I have just started doing art fairs! My web site lists them.

What advice can you give to students of the ceramic arts?
Give it time! Clay simply takes time and a large percentage of the pleasure should come in the process - take your cue from kids; they tend to live in the moment and value the process more than the product.
Also, remember we are surrounded by too much perfection: machine-made things. Value yours and others' things because they are hand made, whether or not they are perfectly symmetrical and have an unflawed surface. I think clay involves a lot of humility and forgiveness.

How do you spend your time when not working with clay?

1. being a mom, 2. biking I hope, 3. teaching for A.R.T. and doing volunteer work.

Any parting words?
"centered" is more than just something you do to clay.


No comments:

Post a Comment