Maggie Mae Beyeler | Episode 274
Maggie Beyeler started her studio, Magpie Pottery in the desert outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico 17 years ago. Formally trained at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Maggie earned her MFA in ceramics in 1993. Since that time Maggie has operated her own studio, taught at various colleges and universities throughout the area, and has become known for her image transfer tableware.
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Do you make your living off of your art?
I was thinking about all my friends here in El Dorado who are laughing right now at that question because they see what I go through. It is interesting that you should ask that question. I tried, I tried really hard. I am 59 now and I am actually thinking about going back into teaching a little bit more and stuff like that, because it has become kind of harder as I have gotten older. My body isn’t as young as it used to be. I was making a living there for a while. In fact when the economy went south in 2008-2009, those were some of my best years. But now I am kind of re-evaluating the whole thing.
What is your most indispensable tool in your studio?
I think my slab roller.
Do you throw on the wheel at all?
I do. I actually have done a fair amount of throwing but I am not as enamored of the symmetrical vessel as I am what you can do with a slab. I have got probably 50 different plaster molds that I have made. I find those to be more engaging than the symmetrical round thing that I get off the wheel. I make a fair amount of cups as almost every potter does.
Where do you find your ideas for your work now?
I troll Instagram. No. That is somewhat facetious but not really. I was well trained in grad school and I look at a lot of work and just a lot of art work. I go to downtown Subscription once a month, a local coffee shop and look at all the home décor magazines. I just love to see colors and pattern and what other people are making. It doesn’t have to be ceramics. I fill up my senses with creative imagery.
What is your art world pet peeve?
The first thing that comes to mind is such a local answer, which would be all the “south-western” art that you see in Santa Fe catering to the tourist trade. When I first got it here it was just so cliché here in Santa Fe. Thankfully in the last 20 years that I have been here it’s not so much that way anymore.
If you could live in a book, TV show or a movie what would it be?
I am a World War 2 freak, historian. My dad was in the war and I watch movies about that all the time. I would be the nurse in The English Patient. It’s the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. It’s gorgeous. I have probably seen it 4 times and it’s that era of history that I am so interested in.