The Philosophy of Art | Simon Levin | Episode 177

Simon Levin | Episode 177

Behind Simon Levin are his apprentices Ian Connors and Liz Vukelich

Behind Simon Levin are his apprentices Ian Connors and Liz Vukelich

Simon Levin VaseIn 1993 Simon Levin fell in love with the movement of flame through a wood-kiln. Its sensuous quality is something Simon seeks to capture in his work. This quest led Simon to an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. Recently the work explores the deep, dark, primal connections between all of us. Simon owns Mill Creek Pottery in Wisconsin, where he and his apprentices work to advance the cause of wood-fired pottery.

Simon Levin Plate


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Simon Levin Mug 3

What do you do to promote your work?

Facebook. Instagram. I write articles. I do shows,nationally and internationally. I enter very specific jury shows. And I sell through galleries.

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How do you get your writing into publications?

Now I’m getting requests to write but at first it was just writing articles and submitting them. Combined with images, most clay magazines are pretty hungry for good writing.

Simon Levin Mug 2

How do you price your work?

Pricing is a tricky thing. At some point I have to price what the market will bear. There are kind of going rates for mugs and I’m starting to push the envelope. If at  the end of the year I have sold  most of what I have made then I can probably raise my prices some.

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What is your philosophy on internships?

I think they are great. I think they are really, really important.

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What advice do you give to apprentices?

It depends. Each apprentice is different. Some are too focused and myopic. Some are trying way too many things and I want them to focus. I think the best thing is go to your studio and make stuff.

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The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

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Instagram: @woodfire

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  • Chad French

    This is a message I sent Simon after listening to this episode.

    Great podcast with pdblais, the discussion was great. During your debate I kept thinking to myself it’s the measurement of refinement (skills, craft or trade)not to be mistaken by being mastered. When Paul put out the examples of the painters I was like no your not seeing it Jackson pollock, Rembrandt and Picasso all refined their art to what we know them for. It’s the measurement of that refinement it’s not just splattered paint on a canvas. You and I are both woodfire potters but you have a MUCH larger measurement of refinement. It was a great podcast that will live on my phone so I can listen too it again.

    • Paul Blais

      Great thoughts, Chad. I like the idea of refinement a lot. Thanks for your input and listening to the show. Simon is an amazing guy. I’m glad you are going to be saving this episode. Lots of love to you.