Nick Weddell is a sculptor living and working in the USA. He creates metamorphosed versions of everyday objects ranging from cups to armchairs in order to catalyze a celebration of that which is and a challenge to seek that which could be. His work is an arbiter of progress, a wrecking ball of convention, and above all a harbinger of joy.
What have you rebelled against in the past, and what are you rebelling against now?
I think in the past I rebelled against the same types of things I am rebelling against now. I am a maker of everyday objects: plates, cups, chairs, but I investigate alternate ways to make these objects to challenge the mundane moments that they typically inhabit.
Do you need to be a rebel to enjoy your work?
No, at times perhaps I am but I think another way to look at it is that fully embracing a type of object, say a plate, and diving into and breaking down what that object is, learning its boundaries and rules and pushing them, is a type of rebellion.
Do you use your own work?
Absolutely, I have to test it before it goes out into the world. I also love to use them.
Do you think tableware can still be improved? If yes, in what way?
Always. I think everything can be improved and transformed and redefined. I wish the types of objects that are used in Steinbeisser were more commonly used in a day to day setting. I think we could all use a little more daily fun.
What was the inspiration for your Steinbeisser series?
I had not made a foray into plates and serving dishes so it was a fun opportunity to take what I normally do with cups and apply it to a plate that could serve several people at a time. The horizontal nature of the plates makes me think of miniature landscapes that I could shrink down and explore.
Describe your work in 3 words!
Celebratory. Alien. Goop.
What kind of materials do you use and where do you get them from?
I mix my own materials from bags of raw materials sourced from around the world. Many of these ingredients are only found in one place on Earth and so shipping them from England or New Zealand is an unfortunate necessity. Luckily it does not take much of these materials to make a lot of clay so a little goes a long way. To color my clay and glazes I use stains or oxides found in the ground.
What are you working on right now?
I am finishing up some large monster heads and bigger blobby pots, I’m constantly making cups as well, those are my favorite thing to make.
What has been your favourite dinner experience?
Mmm, I went to a restaurant in Chicago that is now closed called Ruxbin. I do not remember many precise details but it was the best dining experience of my life. So much attention to detail and pacing. It was incredible.
What excites you about tomorrow?
What excites me about tomorrow is that I will get to work in the studio.
What further ambitions do you have?
I would like to eventually be able to focus all of my time making my work, that is what I am working towards with a lot of hope but no expectations. I would also like to travel in space.