ADDRESS Interview with ceramic artist Sandra Meryl Ledingham.
Define your craft in 3 sentences or less. My work as a ceramic artist embraces not only ceramic sculpture but a reverence for functional clay. At the basis of my passion is how clay has informed our civilization from ancient clay architecture to its usage as food for the hungry, to toilets. “My interest in the modest material of clay and its historical origin’s of usage have become ever more endearing and meaningful to me. As workers in clay we should be proud, we come from a fierce and pivotal material.”
Describe your creative process. My process always starts with ‘ruminating’ in a greasy spoon café ( or sometimes designer cafes). Periodicals, a sketch pad, reference books and a time to focus are instrumental. Following is a clean & organized studio work space – a clean palette. A studio filled with sun-light & some jazz and I’m set.
Where do you find inspiration when experiencing a creative block? Keeping a ‘thread’ of unresolved works & notes, ramping up the inertia and assuring a project ( large or small) helps keep the limbo away. If a block has taken hold, gallery visits, design periodicals & a jazz concert get the juices flowing.
What advice would you give to young designers / makers / artists / creatives aspiring to make it in their field? As my mentor – ceramic artist Marilyn Levine once said at the beginning of my career “ just keep on working” ! And as I have said to my students: we as artists have the privilege of a career where we just keep on getting better and better ( more skilled, insightful, informed, smart & satisfied) instead of having it be ‘all over’ by the time you are 60! Not to mention we build a frame of reference with which we travel thru our days and the world.
What’s your dream project? One I have already completed: designing & building a home near Chitzen Itza ruins in the Yucatan of Mexico, inspired by a fav Architect Louis Barragan, AND ongoing : finding my ‘audience’ around the globe where my work, for them, has a resonance.
What design trends are you excited about? The closing of the gap of ‘material arts’ usage within the practice of artists. The cross-over of concepts, historical art movements, traditional craft technologies, architecture & new technologies.