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.
If you had access to all the powers, how would you improve the world?
This is a tough one because there are so many things that appear to need fixing in our world. I suppose I would grant everyone the ability to accomplish whatever improvements that deem necessary in their life. I would prevent anyone from using their powers for malignant purposes, but I would want everyone to have the same powers that I did. That kind of power should not be held by one person, I think.
What are the biggest sustainability challenges in your work and how are you addressing them?
The biggest sustainability issue in my work is definitely the energy usage, be it electricity or gas, that is required to fire ceramic. As of right now there is no way to fire ceramic without using energy, in the near future kilns may be powered by solar energy, but for now all we can do is not waste any of this energy by firing only half full kilns or using kilns to dry out work to speed up the process that can be done with time and patience.
Which conscious lifestyle choices are you making? And are you considering any new ones?
What conscience lifestyle choices am I making? Well, I am trying to live within the moment that I occupy presently, and not fall into the thoughts that tend to carry me outside of the stream of time. Daily meditation helps with this, but I have far to go. I look forward to being able to get exercising outdoors come spring.
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 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 pieces?
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 has been your favorite 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.