Meghan Kinita: person of interest
Before I met Meghan, I heard about her from my roommate Jennah, who gushed about her from Prep and from a mutual maker friend, Sara Clark. I'll tell you about those two gals another time, equally talented in their own rights. The point is that Meg's reputation proceeded her. She has intention about her, I like this.
Meghan Kinita is woman after my own heart. She has an unapologetic air about her, which I think is admirable. Megs often jokes about using pottery as her "excuse" to slip out of activities or socialize events, but I want to make pause at that to try to explain something. I think that people sometimes misread artists when they meet at a show or, in Megs case, come visit her at the salon. You have to realize that it takes a lot of time to produce a body of work, to challenge oneself, and to achieve some level of mastery. One of the things I admire most about artists is how much time they often spend alone experimenting, researching and doing self-exploration. My best advice to young artists: Your friends will still think you're "cool" if you take a holiday from socializing, I'm experimenting with it myself at the moment. Stop making excuses and start making art!
She pours me some tea after our initial chat at we sit down to do my first interview...
How did you get into pottery? I decided to take a class at the WAG 2 years ago in October, last month. I decided to take some pottery. A friend of mine came in for a haircut and she’s like “I’m going to sign up for some pottery classes.” I checked the registration, and there was still room.
How did you transition this from a hobby to a business? And what gave you the confidence to do so? I think it was a leap of faith. After all of the classes were done there was an opportunity to do a members show…. Yeah you know, I have so many pieces I feel like I’m just going to submit 5 pieces and it was accepted and it was a little bit exciting to go to a gallery show, see my peers work, my work.
People seemed to like it online, on IG. SOo I started making more and more pieces and worked really hard all summer. (she works from her home) At the house I’ve got a wheel already, and then it was just playing and experimenting and watching videos all the time, and just trying to develop a style.
I have to interject here. Meg’s mentor and I passed each other in the entry of the house as I arrived. Meg is radiating excitement about the new setting they’ve programmed the kiln with, and the test glazes she’s got going in there while we chat. It’ll take a day and a half for her to find out if the new lustre glaze and gold she used will work.
… And in the spring this year, really early on in the year, Chelsea (Owner/stylist @prephair) worked to get me to bring these to work. I decided on a whim to open an Instagram account just for the pottery because people were saying, asking do you have an online store? *She was posting on her “other” Instagram accounts. *other, chuckle* Two Instagram feeds because I’m completely addicted to Instagram. It actually just started to take off and I very nervously decided to apply to Lucky girl pop up this spring and I was accepted. And within a few hours I almost sold out and I’m like “this is awesome!”
I was pumped, it was a massive confidence booster and like to the point where I almost wanted to cry out of happiness because I felt like I had been actually expressing myself and had been received and I was flattered that people wanted to have my little pieces in their house.
Why do it? A few reasons. I think there is a market for the style and the size of pieces that I make. They are like treasures or like small decorative items, which I believe suits people’s lives these days. I think it has a cultural appeal. I think it has a good gift giving aesthetic. Many pieces are very affordable as treats or for yourself or for your best friend. A tiny bit of luxury to it.
Clay deets: No, I’m a complete jerk, I’m one of those new comers who did not take it professionally in art school for 4 years and don’t have an art degree however, I’m a student of life. I do a lot of art. Anything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from my mentor Crystal. Trial and error and on the internet. …we talk a little bit about having a career while learning a new skill and the challenges/limitations in balancing them *sigh*
How do you pick the clay that you use? I tend to generally pick a very light clay, it’s a not porcelain, it’s a few stages down there. It’s very easy to stretch, it’s good for vases. Bud vases, Dishes those types of things. It fires really light in the end so whatever type of glaze you put on it it’s going to be more true to the tone. The transition of colour theory from hair to glazes seems natural enough to me, I can see the appeal
Opportunities: Lucky Girl was big. The weekend after Lucky Girl was happening there was another huge pop up and almost everyone who showed up was like “will you have more and will you be at this show? (asking about future pop-ups) This summer was getting to be a pop-up at urban outfitters. My friend Andrew who used to work there was in charge of helping acquire some artist at “Doers and Dreamers.” Its’ curated, juried. There is just a small amount of people who had been there. It went really well and after it was almost like it created a buzz.
Collabs: I have a few collabs in the works. Some pretty adorable up and coming artist. I have had requests to do ceramic pet accessories in the New Year bhahaha! Umm, so someone is suggesting that I make these little cactus pots so that people can grow cat grass. I make these cactus pots for air plants but people are suggesting (above) I don’t want to get too “kitchy” with it though.
Future ideas: Metallics and metallic finishes on my pieces. I think it also adds to some of the branding I want to do in the future. I definitely want to incorporate fibers in the future, I’m not sure how.
Admiring: tom_kemp_ (IG) *gahhh* an artist that kills me. These lovely grand beautiful pieces and finishes them off with this insane brushstroke. And yah, I watch his videos all the time, they literally make me want to cry. I mean you have one shot and it’s over in 30 seconds. I asks about glaze viscosity etc, I’m curious by nature. I like to finish off some of my pieces but I don’t have the skill of Tom
tortus_copenhagen (IG) you watch him throw and it’s like magic, it’s like the clay is weightless. He’s an incredible artist to watch throw, his hands just … yah
*We must share this weird obsession with artists hands. Someone's hands can leave an impression in my memory, watching them do work that looks effortless and fluid. When they are fluent in their art.
Meg again: “Will my hands ever look that dreamy, someone tell me yes.”
On the personal side….
Big decisions, what’s your process: Umm, I think the biggest things is that it has to be a decision that I’m happy with. What is the risk factor? I’m not a huge risk taker at the end of the day. I try to be fair, to myself, to my partner, to my lifestyle.
Who do you want to honor and how: Yeah, I do have a project in mind with some of the pieces that I create especially the pieces that are popular. For example people are really fiendish about any of the Alpacas I make, insanely popular items. And of course that came from being in Peru 2 years ago. I mean yeah, who doesn’t want to send money back down at some point. I mean sponsor a llama, lol just joking. I mean something along those lines, it’s like you invest back into the inspiration In the first place. To me that’s a very obvious one.
What’s the last thing you quit and don't regret: *bhahah hearty laughter* repeats the question to herself with a huge smile: probably the last salon I worked at. Yeah, zero regrets. It was probably one of the best things I ever quit…. other than smoking, but yah. If I hadn’t quit and didn’t work for myself at this point in my life I’m not sure where I’d be. I wouldn’t’ be doing this, I wouldn’t have this.
Most recent big ticket purchase: Oh, it’s currently plugged in and running in the basement. Still needs a name but uh, yeah it’s crazy. Everyone’s been asking when my next trip is (Megs travels a lot, and her work speaks to that). Well I make it weekly into the basement because that IS a trip sitting in the basement. I wanna test pieces this winter, the list of things I want to cross off. I’m trying out a lustre firing right now, my first one. And I added gold to a bunch of pieces this morning and I love that style. But yeah so it’s like oh ok cool I’m going to see how this works and try it out.
Meghan is a gracious host and has offered me delicious beverages both times I have had the pleasure to visit. She surrounds herself with photos and fibers from her travels. The walls are gallery-like, of course, curation seems to be a general theme in our conversation today and the weekend she just came off of at Third & Bird market (go ahead and check their IG out too). She's got an obvious soft spot for the up and coming WPG makers. I'd say you have a chance of meeting Meghan at one of the pop-ups, if you're a hair client, or if you're just damn lucky because this girl is SO busy! Lucky me, she took the time to be my first Local talent interview feature. She's focused on keeping up with the demand, and is eternally grateful for the support! Get at her stuff guys, She has one more show this year, check her out @luckygirlpopup December 17th