ARTIST INTERVIEW: Michelle Blade
Company: Michelle Blade
Artist: Michelle Blade
We know you’re going to fall in love with the ceramics (and spirit) of first-time EPCF vendor Michelle Blade, just like we did…
Michelle Blade is a visual artist born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She holds a master’s in paintings from the California College of the Arts and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, Bonnefantenmuseum Netherlands, Johansson Projects, Jack Hanley Gallery SF, Roberts & Tilton, and Western Exhibitions.
In the past five years Michelle, along side her painting career, has focused on creating functional, utilitarian ceramic wares. Her works are currently available at: Picture Room, NY; The Primary Essentials, Brooklyn; General Store, SF/LA; Underground Museum, LA; Spartan Shop, Portland; Vestige Shop, Philadelphia; Canyon Coffee, LA / Online; More & Co, Maine.
Tell us about your current work and how that work has evolved since you first started your business?
I first began making ceramics in 2014 during a time I felt stuck in my painting practice. I signed up for a class thinking that working differently with my hands might free the blockage and it did the trick. I didn’t stop and ceramics quickly grew into a new love. Making a utilitarian object felt grounding, democratic and I liked making a thing that could play an active part in my everyday life.
Making my first coffee cup felt so empowering. A little over five years later, I’ve made hundreds of mugs and the process is still humbling. With ceramics there is another force at play, a bit of mystery I don’t have access to. It makes me a perpetual student of the universe and I have a lot of love for that position.
How long have you been participating in the Echo Park Craft Fair?
This will be my first year participating in the EPCF.
How does being a part of the EPCF community inspire you?
The community involved with the EPCF is teeming with brilliant, beautiful, impassioned makers and goods. It’s inspiring to see what everyone brings to the table, literally.
What techniques do you use to produce your designs? What is the history behind those techniques, and does that inform how you use them?
Each object I make is constructed by hand. It’s fired, glazed, hand painted with a design and then etched with a sharp needle tool to create a drawing within the painted design. It’s a detailed oriented process and every piece is unique.
There is a lot of cross pollinating happening between the painting and ceramic part of my studio and much of the imagery depicted on my ceramics comes from my paintings. I enjoy seeing how these two separate practices can’t help but overlap.
What impact do you hope your creative work will have on your community?
When an artist, an artist’s life, or an artist’s work is inspiring it has the power to transport you to a new place. There is no one way to live this creative life and every time I get a glimpse into someone else’s window it’s the greatest reminder for me to get back in the studio and tap into my unique weirdness. I think this is one of the greatest supports artists can lend to one another. Just live your own strange, amazing life.