Maya Rumsey | Episode 326
Maya Rumsey is a ceramic artist based in Denver, CO. In art school Maya majored in glass but found herself pulled into the clay world. After graduating Maya did some wandering around and finally came back to making ceramics and opened her Etsy shop, Melissa Maya Pottery, in 2013 to sell her pots.
Number 1 brand in America for a reason. Skutt.com
For all your ceramic needs go to Georgies.com
How did you find your voice as an artist?
I think that my making stuff, just the nature of what I do with clay is so much of a craft that you do things over and over and over again. You can make so many mugs and so many of the same thing, and just making stuff is how I find that because you make you make something and think, oh that foot or that pattern could be just a little more like this or like that. So I find my voice by just making over and over again. Also I have come up with some of my ideas from that stillness or being quiet. I have to have some daydreaming to figure out ideas.
It has been said if you steal from one person it is plagiarism, but if you steal from 100 artists then it’s research. So how do you steal from 100 artists to make you work? Who influences your work?
It’s so easy to steal from everybody right now with the internet, right? I am influenced by a lot of people. When you do look at so many people it is hard to exactly say who it is. I love looking at Melissa Weiss, she does amazing work. This is really hard to say.
Let me ask it another way. Who is your pottery catnip?
The people that I love to look at? I love to look at Melissa Weiss, actually I was going through some of your old podcasts and listening to some people, so a lot of these people have been on your show too. Like Brit McDaniel, Juliet Paul, and Anderson Bailey. A lot of these are not really like my stuff but I love looking at their things. Some are just completely different like Kip O’ , I love looking at her drawings, they are so fun.
How do you get the point where you can master a specific skill in ceramics?
Doing it a million times. It’s true though. I feel very fortunate to have gone to art school and been in the ceramic program there because when I was learning how to throw and pull handles and attach handles I was doing nothing else. I don’t think I could learn how to do it right now. I have too much other stuff going on. So when I was learning and mastering those skills I was able to be in the studio , I mean you could go in the middle of the night and just work all night. I would be in there days at a time eating cans of soup. you know, doing nothing but working in the studio. I really feel fortunate that I could put in so many hours of work during that time.
How do you balance, now as a working mom, how do you balance your life between making and momming?
It’s really hard to balance. I am sort of trying to figure this out, especially now that I have two. I kind of don’t try to do both at the same time because that is hard to balance. When I am with my girls I like to be with them and when I am doing business stuff I like to be doing that. So figuring out that is how I work best, when I am working I really just want to be doing that. That is why they kind of need to be out of the house so I am not distracted as much.
Then what do you think of multi-tasking? Do you think it is realistic to be really good at multi-tasking or do you think it’s better to be single-minded?
Well I am multi-tasking all the time in my life with my kids and everything. But when I am working I really want to be focused on my work. If I am writing an email while I am watching my daughter, I am putting typos in there and it’s coming across as not very professional. I kind of have to be more focused.
If you could go back and re-do one thing in your life, what would that one thing be?
I know this is going to sound cliche and everything, but I don’t think I would. Especially having little kids. You think about Back to the Future. If you change one little thing you would screw up your whole life.