Anne Pryde | Episode 237
Anne Pryde is a professional ceramic artist working from her home-based studio in Hatchet Lake Nova Scotia. A graduate of NSCAD University, Anne has been working as a professional in clay since 2006. Her recent work can be found in a variety of galleries and gift shops in Atlantic Canada. Anne’s work is influenced by wild medicinal plants, agricultural practices and a strong tradition of pottery in Nova Scotia.
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What motivates you to be a creative artist?
That’s such a good question. I don’t know that there is any one answer. I am motivated by my incessant need to make things. If I am not in the studio making pots I am usually upstairs baking something or cooking. I have this strange need to be always producing something and if I don’t do that I get depressed and have anxiety. It’s just a need to keep making.
You said earlier that your mom likes to knit to keep her hands busy. Is that what you are suggesting?
I guess in a way I like to be busy. And running a pottery business as you know is very time consuming.
Do your ceramics express something other than just being functional?Are you trying to express a point of view or an idea or a feeling?
I am trying to make work that inspires people to bring beauty into their homes. But I am also making work about agricultural practices. A lot of the images that I draw on my pots are wild edible plants and I am hoping that I am making a comment about how agricultural practices are affecting the natural landscape.
How about failure? Does failure push you forward or does failure trip you up?
Failure trips me up for a day or two and then it pushes me forward. Failure has both effects on me. I kind of get set back a bit but it also gives me an opportunity to analyse what I have been making and how I have been going about making sales. Based on that analysis I can move forward.
How set are you in your ways? Do you love to test and experiment or do you have a certain method or practice?
I have been set in my ways in the past and I definitely have had a practice where: this is what I do and I don’t do anything else. Then a few years ago I decided that for a twelve month period I would say yes to every commission that was asked of me as a way of getting out of my set method of working and challenging myself. So I said yes to everything and I made some really crazy stuff . Not all of it I am proud of but it definitely improved my technique.
How important is goal setting to you as someone having to be self-motivated and a self-starter?
I am super goal oriented. I make lists of goals at the beginning of every year. I am totally comfortable with some of those goals getting thrown out the window part way through the year. I just enjoy the process of setting them.
There was a book written called Punch Fear in the Face. How do you punch fear in the face?
I have a lot of weird fears that are not business oriented. Like I am afraid of going fast. I am afraid of riding a bicycle quickly or even running. So last year I felt like I needed to challenge my fears so I signed up for a gymnastics class and it was really fun.Every week I would be terrified but I would do it anyway. I learned how to do some cool moves on the trampoline which is amazing for me.
At what point in their development with clay is a person allowed to call themselves a potter?
That’s a loaded question. I think if you are doing it professionally then you are allowed to call yourself a potter. I think if you are a hobbyist and still learning and not quite ready to sell your work I think you are not quite ready yet. But once you do it professionally then you are a potter.