LM: What makes you get up in the morning?
CM: I am the kind of person who feels like it needs to make the most of every minute of every day. Life makes me get up in the morning. I'm not afraid of dying, but I just really want to treat every moment of my life as something really precious.
LM: What was your experience with ceramics like? And what was that recognizable thing that makes you think this is it? This is what I want to do.
CM: My first experience with ceramics was sort of by accident. I work with these two women and I didn't actually make ceramics, I just helped them. I would do deliveries. Mary would have this ceramics business, so I would help her package her stuff and drive it to the different locations. Without knowing it, I was gravitating to this situation. Only to find out later why I found it so fascinating. What I really found fascinating was these women, they were using their hands to make their living. Being really creative, and being really resourceful. Being really proficient. They were really exemplary. Just strong, independent, resourceful women that I really appreciated and that was my first experience. For me, it didn't come until much much later that I found that I could make a living with ceramics. It wasn't until probably 10 years later
LM: Do you remember a specific moment? Or was it just a series of events?
CM: I think it was a series of events. I was always surprised in being able to figure things out by myself. How to navigate the world on my own. It was something that I learned as a young child. Ceramics is like a vast ocean of information and there's so much that you can do in the realm of ceramics. There's also like a lot of knowledge that you need to know to be successful. I got this job at Park City at the ....art center and I just kept failing miserably. I mean, I was supposed to run this center, and I had never taught before and I wasn't sure how to fire a kiln, but I was sure this is what I wanted to do. So, I'm sure I can figure it out, but I was not figuring it out. So, I decided that what maybe what I really needed to do was get a full art education. In that same art period, I was making my work, and selling my work. I was making money and my pots were in demand and people would always comment "Oh, it matches my kitchen" And I just remember being like. "Who gives a fuck about your kitchen?" And at that moment, I liked the work I was making, but I wasn't in love with the work I was making. And It was very important for me to love the work I was making. So, I started to go back to school, and go back to be able to gather up my information.
LM: Was this for your undergrad?
CM: Yeah. So, I didn't start my undergrad until I was 34.
LM: Where did you go?
CM: Northern Arizona University.
LM: Did you have a good experience there?
CM: I did. I feel like that experience I had was very much about me sort of navigating the situation. But in me, navigating a situation was really about me not letting other people in. I just wanted to be on my own, and figure things out. And it was also about sharing experience and learning to accept what other people had to offer.
LM: So, recently you have decided to start from scratch from your work. What direction do you hope your work takes after this?
CM: I guess, in a lot of ways I feel like my work is forced, because in ceramics there is this community and it's definitely there are those who are very successful, and there is those who are not. And I want to become to the level of those who are very successful. But I feel like in like getting of the spirit of that conversation, about matching their kitchen. I was sort of forcing my work. I was not letting happen naturally. I was thinking of things that are very sellable or things that people might like, and that's not why I wanted to go to school and I find out that it's for me to get really caught up on those things, you know...being successful, and being able to market my work. And I really wanted to start from scratch, because I really wanted to find the true essence of my work. That is really important to me.
LM: (This is not in my questionnaire, but I always ask my friends this) Would you be happy making art if you weren't successful?
CM: I would, because I feel like I really need a commitment to this and to myself. In making this commitment. It's all about me and the artwork and exploration. I think is the most important component of where I am right now. I feel like I would still make art. I would find another outlet. I would certainty not go for a desk job, if I wasn't successful. I think were tied at this point.
LM:What do you fear the most?
CM: The thing I fear the most is the body breaking down and the mind keeps going, because I don't know how to navigate life without my physical form. I really fear the day that I really want to ride my bike, but can't....want to go on a hike, but can't. ...As far as art goes, never truly knowing myself. That's terrifying. There's some outside forces that you have to reckon with on a daily basis, and I feel like that gets in the way of being sort of settle, and move to myself and really being to reflect, who I am, or where I am, where I'm going and what's important.
LM: What moves your work?
CM: What moves me to make my work?
LM: I mean, what inspires you to make work?
CM: Always getting better. Always seeing the improvement. Always learning to see differently. New forms, new lines, new colors. Having something come together so wonderfully. It may not ever happen, but it's most definitely the most motivating factor. And you know...coming to see myself as an artist, because I feel like an artist now, but I want to able to feel that essence.
LM: What makes someone an artist?
CM: Maybe creative. Honestly, to be able to take a little venture into your creative self. Like a drawing in a napkin. One thing I really love are little kids drawings, because they don't have those innovations...those formal thoughts. I guess what makes an artists, it's your willingness to want to be an artist.
LM: What is your favorite memory?
CM: My earliest memory. I was probably around 7 or 8. And we went to the aquarium in Boston. I always been sort of a very close person, and as I get older I really to open myself up. I remember going to the aquarium, and not really spending a lot of time interacting with the other kids, but I took the bus home, and I sat on the front seat, and I felt this serene feeling of independence. It was the first time that I had an "adult feeling" When I was really able to reflect what I was feeling. To be proud in that moment. To be alone. To be independent. And to be OK with that. That felt really good.
LM: Ok, Tell me something you would only tell me?
CM: aaahh....geeez....um...I'm going to skip that question.
We both laugh.
CM: I feel like there's so much I can say, but I don't want to say too much because...
LM: I'm recording?
CM: Yeah. I mean..there's something that keeps coming back to my mind that I have never told anybody, and it would be kind of fun to say it. Knowing that no one else would really know,but you...but....
LM:.... I am recording....Ok..that's ok...So...this is more of a question for me. What do you do with doubt:
CM: I just struggle though. I just keep making. I feel like I have a lot of experience with doubt, and It's totally a useless feeling and experience, and it sort of hinders you in a way. I mean as much as it seems like doubt and grad school go hand in hand, I think it's going to be really more harmful to me more than anything else right now. I could use my energy for other things. I need to be powerful and just keep going.
LM: What is beauty to you? And is it important?
CM: It is really important. To be beauty is a funny thing. I keep finding beauty in a lot of different things. I can find beauty in something that is really funny or really ugly, or something that is very touching. I feel like beauty takes on many different forms for me. I fund so much beauty in nature, in being a human being and feelings emotions and in the struggles that we have.
LM: Does it influence your work?
CM: I think it does. It doesn't come directly, but for me it would be more of a catalyst for those feelings that I feel. I differently, that sort of beauty that moves me and inspires me, it comes in printmaking or drawing, because it is the best way for me to convey those feelings. I don't think beauty comes from objects. The objects that I make are sort of different kind of beauty. They are meant to enhance your life, your surroundings, and hope that you make connections with your home.
LM: But do you think that the 2D, affects the 3d?
CM: In a ways, but I think I am in the baby steps stage, because as much as I love printmaking. I am in stage zone of printmaking, but I have a lot of awesome ideas for prints. That ugly beauty side. But I don't think those are very separate, but when I get some time, I would really like to explore the 2D, printmaking side. It is something that I am very excited about.
LM: What has been your proudest moment in life or in art?
CM: My proudest moment in my life was grinding ...(something I can't hear well in the recording) And In art, my proudest moment was getting into grad school. Being accepted into grad school means that you're obviously doing something right. By far. Second proudest moment.
LM: What has been your favorite lie that you have told?
CM: My favorite lie? That I have a twin sister. I guess when I used to wait tables and I would see guys in bars that I had seen when I was really drunk or something. ...These are YOUR questions...these are not art questions.
LM: Yes, they are. This is the way that I would interview someone.
CM: -mocking me- "Tell me something you would only tell myself"
LM: Do you feel like there's a difference where your life ends, and your art begins.
CM: I feel like there is, but I'm sure some people would see it that way. Sometimes, I'm just washing the dishes, but some people could turn it into an art project. Some sort of conceptual....
LM: That's going to be my next project. I'm going to go strangers homes and wash their dishes. So, thank you for that.
CM: I'm going to say no, because we have psychology, philosophy, sociology. Those are all full of opportunities for art projects. I feel like every moment there's an opportunity for art. Whether we can see it or not....
LM: So what's your favorite word?
CM: silliliqui (sp)
LM: What is that?
CM: It is when you talk out loud to yourself. But it's more like a formal event where you're having this dialogue and you're talking to yourself, but you're sort of talking to other people, so you can understand your thoughts. I also love the word Chance.
LM: Like the idea of it or just the word?
CM: I think both. Chance. Oh, that's such a beautiful word. I'm going to go get a tattoo tomorrow. Chance.