New Zealand born ceramicist and creator James Lemon resides in Northcote, Melbourne, where he creates an array of handmade items from vases and mugs through to jewellery. We are lucky enough to showcase some of James’s work in our new space Big Boom (5 Rutland street) We recently asked James some questions about his practice and work.
James Lemon, Ceramicist
1. What’s your favourite thing about creating?
My favourite thing about creating is using my body to create a physical object that can facilitate an exchange of ideas or feeling. I’m a highly tactile person so I find a lot of satisfaction from connecting to other people through that mechanism. That’s a lie but I mainly just like to get messy and sweaty.
2. When making or designing a new piece, how does your process work and what does a ‘good day’ in the studio look like?
A good day looks different every time. I’ve found my creative process isn’t linear and neat. a thought, a bit of inspiration, a moment of emotion, a form but probably, mostly engaging in material usually starts me off. a good day might be when some work emerges from the kiln and it looks like how I wanted it to or better than, that’s quite results driven which maybe isn’t cute so I’m also inclined to say that a good day is when I come out frustrated and challenged with nothing to show for it, I learn how to cope, I have to find comfort with resultless parts of the process. art and making for me is a way to cope with the state of the world we’re living in. not as a distraction but as a way to focus my energy into something celebratory.
3. What’s a major achievement you are most proud of in your career so far?
I have some exciting things coming up which I am proud of which I’m gonna keep hush but for now my collection commissioned by the ngNGVv for the Escher/ Nendo show is definitely a highlight and a fab opportunity. it was the biggest and most stressful job to date and it presented a lot of challenges but I made it through unscathed and quite charged. I’m proud of having my work seen in a context that I always saw it being in.
4. Is there anything new for your practice/career on the horizon?
I’ve always wanted to make art. For that, I needed a studio so for the last few years my functional ceramics portfolio has been my way to facilitate a place for me to eventually be able to make work that excites me. I am extremely fortunate to have that now, so the horizon looks like a lot of artwork I’ve been wanting to make for a few years. So expect some shows and whatnot.
I’ve also realised some new goals along the way. Next for my shop and studio (which I’ve only just opened) I foresee an expansion not of my personal creative space but a space to include more artists and designers. A place where we can come together and share ideas and have the opportunity to showcase our work. I’m working on an artist budget though, so the slow game will have to work like it has been for the last few years