For this week’s video we are resurfacing an old favorite.
Kim Westad is a ceramics artist who lives and works in the Bronx, New York. She opened up her studio to show me the delicate process involved in making her Sweet Pea porcelain vessels. The Sweet Peas are minimal and elegantly rotund little “characters,” and despite having a simple matte white finish of unglazed porcelain on the outside, their true colors shine from the inside out. Each Sweet Pea is similar to the others, but completely unique in and of itself.
Kim’s story starts like many others’ — she was formally trained in Graphic Design — but after she found working for others artistically unfulfilling, she took a friend’s advice and started attending a pottery class. Five years later she has the successful ceramics career she enjoys today.
Watching Kim’s process firsthand, it’s clear to me that she draws on her background to unify her work, but clearer still is that she is doing exactly what she was designed to do. Seeing her forms take shape through swift graceful movements is both inspiring and mesmerizing. Her hands and wrists move in calculated yet fluid motions, while her gaze is calmly fixed on every minute detail of her work.
With such a refined skill, it is difficult to imagine Kim making a mistake, but she says much of her success lies in errors. Like a phoenix from ashes, she concedes that if she can make something once — even if it fails — she can always make it better a second time.