k2 Artisan Series: Q & A with Nick Moen

Asheville Potter Nick Moen Seeks to Redefine the Eating Experience

K2 Studio is proud to offer the tableware imagined and created by Nick Moen. Currently the resident artist at Asheville’s Odyssey Clayworks, Nick’s work examines and interprets the daily ritual of eating, celebrating the interplay between human beings and the food that nourishes them. We’re grateful to Nick for sharing his views on his work; please visit Nick’s website to see more examples of his work and come in to the studio to envision it in your own home.

Cheeseboards created with fellow artisan Mimi McPartlan for Knife & Fork restaurant “Cup and Plate” event

Why were you drawn to ceramics? What inspires you about the medium?
I was drawn to ceramics because of its complexity. I am able to record an idea or moment in an object that will last a long time.  This connection to the past and to the current field of ceramics is what inspires me to keep creating.

What is your favorite part of the ceramic process, and why?
My favorite part of the ceramic process is currently the design and problem-solving stage.

Talk a little bit about the technical aspects of making pots – the clay itself, the glazes, the firing process, etc.
Currently, I am starting my making process with dimensioning and sketching on paper. I then translate those sketches into 3D models on the computer. I use any method possible to turn the 3D sketches into a physical object—pinching, folding slabs, throwing on the potter’s wheel, extruding, shaping plaster, cutting wood, and 3D printing.Trying to figure out the best set of tools to turn a drawing into a physical object is the exciting part for me right now.

Pieces from the “Fingerprint” line

Do you sense a direction for your work – something new?
Each time I start a new project I try to do something new so I can stay excited about the work.  My latest body of work is focused around tableware. I am interested in expanding that focus to other elements of the dining experience, such as lighting, to stimulate senses other than touch or taste.

What brought you to Asheville?
My first stay in North Carolina was at the Penland School of Crafts, where I was a studio assistant to ceramic artist Matt Kelleher for 8 weeks.  I visited Asheville during my stay at Penland and was intrigued by the creative culture. When I finally made the move from Minnesota to Asheville in February, I was fortunate to be selected as a resident artist at Odyssey Clayworks in the River Arts District.  It has been the Odyssey and the supportive community of Asheville that has kept me here since.

Talk a little bit about the creative community in Asheville—is it an inspiring environment?
Asheville is an inspiring environment. I am very fortunate to be able work live, work, and create with artists. I believe there is currently a strong sense of creative vigor in Asheville. The city is rich with makers and people that appreciate Asheville’s creative community.

Work shown at Profile 2012, Museum of Art and Design, New York City

How did your relationship with k2 develop?
It came through my collaborations with artist Kathryn Adams. Kathryn mentioned that K2 would be a good venue to show tableware.  My intentions when making this tableware is that each piece is part of a whole set.  When the set is together and in use, I feel like my artistic message is being articulated.  K2 provides a venue for this genre of artistic vision.

What does your work bring to the k2 clientele?
I work to redefine the meaning in the daily eating experience. There is currently a huge movement toward food awareness. I make work to complement this movement. If there is a strong awareness of what we are eating, I believe this can extend to how we are eating and what we are eating on. The whole experience should be nourishing.

All photos courtesy Nick Moen

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