Artisans Festival 2014 – Meet the Maker, Seth Simpson

3-300Meet Seth Simpson.  Simpson is one of over 35 artists showing at the annual Artisans Festival, Friday & Saturday, November 28 & 29 at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.   This holiday tradition is one of the longest running festivals in Nevada County and is known for showcasing the exceptional work of regional artisans.  This year’s festival takes the term “Art Party” to another level with dozens of new artists, installation art displays, performance art, live music, children’s holiday art activities, and a rustic, bohemian Acoustic Café and Wine Bar.  Tickets $3, $5 Weekend Pass, Children 15 and under free.  Daily hours are 10am-5pm.

Simpson’s hand thrown porcelain and stoneware forms are the result of calculated decisions of process; the unpredictability of fire, and the influence of place upon my work. his aesthetic stretches across the pacific to Japan and Hawaii and from his home in the Pacific Northwest to the deserts of the southwest. His work has elements of Asian calligraphy and manmade mark making, but more than anything Simpson tries to rely on the beauty of nature to inspire him.

What was the art background of your childhood?

I was not raised by artists, but art was always something big in my family. My grandma and great grandma were artists and my and parents created art for fun; My ancestors were sculpture artists in old Havana, Cuba. So, my childhood included a tradition of art and a sense of joy from creative outlets.

When did you recognize a special talent or interest in art? Was it a moment or a process? Can you remember a specific setting?

I was raised rurally so there were not so many other kids around. I spent a lot of time alone in nature and was inspired to create there. As for a moment, in grade school I found he was good at stuff like illustration. I remember the positive feedback felt good.

It has been a process. I started with 2D and 3D him early on, but worked for potter in high school which helped change my focus.

What did your parents say when you told them you were going to be an artist? Was it a moment or a process? Can you remember the specific setting?

My parents were very encouraging and supportive.   They figured, “if it can be done, I can do it.”

Who or what were your early creative inspirations?

My family, history of successful, talented artists. Where I live in Northern California. Nature. The outdoors. Sense of place. How colors change during seasons. Light on flora and fauna. The effect that light and form has emotionally.

Which artists are you following currently?

Abstract expressionism how color is used to express emotion and pass it on to the viewer. Asian and Japanese art. Contemporary shapes that blend ancient and modern influences. Function is a huge aspect. I like art that is a good tool for everyday life.  Peter Volkus.

What, besides the obvious, do you like about selling your art?

I love the interaction with the people who purchase my art. I work in the studio alone a lot and it’s nice to meet the public. Gives a sense of place and motivations me to keep doing what I’m doing.

What do you think is the role of art in a society?

Art has lots of different roles. My art is to enrich people’s daily life with something small like a favorite mug. Art brings a sense of place, familiarity, joy, beauty to the everydayness of life.

What have been the biggest sacrifices you’ve made for your art?

The predicatble living that comes from a steady 9-5 lifestyle. I live with the unknown and unpredictable. Time wise, I work long hours and sacrifice time with family and friends. I am doing what I love, but it takes some other things I love away from myself and others.

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