ARTS AND CULTURE: Mike Mustain Pottery

Oct. 4—Genre Style: Pottery/Ceramics —Wheel thrown

Location: Wheelersburg

How did the project start? I got my start two years ago actually trying to inspire my nine-year-old daughter at the time. I had enrolled her in a pottery hand building class once while on vacation in Louisville, Kentucky at AA Clay Studio. While taking the class, I noticed there were pottery wheels. I asked if we could use them as well. So we had a 30-minute crash course….it was a terrible sight, but great fun. We had such a great time, upon arriving home I ordered our first wheel.

Well, needless to say, she didn’t run with it like I thought she would. It was me who got lost in the art of pottery. I then began watching YouTube pottery videos and latched on to Matthew Kelly Pottery and Jon the Potter. I then began to teach myself through their videos. A few months back, I was able to travel to meet them both in person. I spent the day in Seagrove, North Caroline one-on-one with Matthew. I then flew to Waconia, Minnesota to spend the weekend at Jon’s first ever open house event. It was amazing to quiz the to gentlemen who I watched to teach myself. I’ve learned so much in the past two years since I’ve started, and I’ve only scratched the surface of the pottery world.

What are three adjectives to describe your style? Three adjectives to describe my style…I’m not sure the I have a style at this point. I’m still trying to let that happen when it happens….I feel very ambitious to take on new challenges in the pottery world.

Walk us through your creative process. My creative process varies. Most of the time when I sit down at my wheel I just starting making what feels right. Those are my favorite nights, when I have no goal or deadline to meet. I can just create with no pressure at all.

How has your art evolved since you started? Since I started pottery two years ago a lot has changed. I went from that guy making a mess to now giving lessons in my studio. I offer one-on-one lessons, date nights or groups. Some of my most memorable lessons are when the wife drags the husband along….then to see the husband really enjoy and be great. My personal skill level have increased dramatically…most people are blown away when I tell them its only been two years.

Heck, I’m still blown away with the fact myself.

What is your favorite creative tool? Why? My favorite creative tool is my hands…the ability to feel the clay as it shapes in my hands in amazing.

What about being an artist fills your cup? Why should others indulge? What about being an artist fills my cup? I struggle with the idea of being an artist..when I hear the word artist I instantly think of famous artist like Van Gogh or or Dali….I don’t see myself as an artist. I will say the process of taking clay that comes from the earth and using my hands to make it into something is very therapeutic. I totally get lost in this process…when I’m creating the outside world does not exist..for that time I am in the here and now…in the moment.

I think everyone should try the arts or pottery at least once in their life…you never know what may happen. I get messages all the time stating how so and so has always wanted to try this, but they never have had the opportunity.

Any advice for new and struggling artists? If you are new to any art or thing you’re wanting to try….my advice would be to not put expectations on yourself. Try hard and try hard again…stay ambitious and trudge ahead, regardless the outcome.

What upcoming protects should we look for? Where can we find it? My most recent project is allowing individuals to take lessons at my studio and be able to share with them in the creative process. If you have an interest in pottery, you can message me on Facebook, just search my name, I’m currently in the process of building the Mike Mustain Pottery page as well.

What question do you wish someone would ask? What is your answer? I’m not sure there is a question that I’ve always wanted to be asked. I’ve met so many interesting individuals in the last to years I’ve been asked a lot of questions..like “what got you into pottery?” or “how long have you been doing this?”