ARTIST INTERVIEW: Peter Sheldon of Sheldon Ceramics
Sheldon Ceramics is a pottery studio and research lab based in Los Angeles, CA and run by Peter Sheldon and Ellen Woglom. Their work is influenced by their rural Vermont heritage and time spent in Mexico and aims to elevate day-to-day living with beautifully crafted, practical pieces. They were new to the Echo Park Craft Fair in spring of 2016 and have been an essential artist ever since. We spoke to ceramicist Peter about his creative philosophy.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now?
I took a ceramics class in high school and loved it. From there, I studied in college and then worked in professional and residential capacities. I enjoyed the balance between technical skills and physical activity, and the side of ceramics that is motivated by chemistry. I wanted a way to combine the analytical and the physical as well, and an opportunity to exercise those two things on a daily basis.
How do you define success in your art or craft or alternately what does failure mean to you?
Health and happiness. There’s so much failure in pottery, it is the foundation for our research.
Do you have any objects you like to keep around you as inspiration. What are they?
A piece of Feldspar that I found the Angeles National Forest.
How is your work inspired by or influenced by nature and your surroundings?
Clay is of the earth. I am heavily influenced by chemistry and geology. From a self-care perspective, I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, and as a result I’m inspired by my natural surroundings.
What is a new idea you have been working with recently?
Developing some custom clay bodies using black clay and terracotta. And we’re always testing new glazes.
Do you think community is important to creativity. If so, how?
The teaching aspect of community, talking and sharing ideas, is important to creativity.
Did you have any mentors or important creative influences?
Working at Whitefish pottery was fundamental in my development. I admire the work of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper.