Being In Between | Nick Kesler | Episode 341

Nick Kesler | Episode 341

Nick Kesler is a 32 year old man who has a beautiful wife, Laura and 10 year old son, Rhett. Nick loves to build things like decks and houses, but most of all Nick likes to throw pots in his patio studio in Lakewood, WA.



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What does being creative mean to you?

I think it has a lot to do with letting your subconscious and who you don’t know that you could be come through your hands. I think Madeleine L’Engle said something about this, about her writing, that she felt that it wasn’t even her hands that were doing it anymore once she gave into whatever it was that she believed in.

How did you discover that you were a creative yourself?

I think the encouragement of the artwork that I made even in fourth grade was probably the biggest catalyst. Encouraging loved ones and teachers alike that would, I don’t know, maybe it was accolades in the beginning that would convince someone to be creative. But I also believe in inbuilt type of motor-skill maybe.

Do you think creativity comes from nurture or do you think it’s nature?

I think it has to be both because you can really squash somebody in an art critique and they might not do art again. That would be the antithesis of nurture. You can squash someone’s natural talent by not nurturing them or you can nurture something that might not be there and it might come some day.

You have talked about doing things that really kind of push the boundaries of creativity. How important do you feel it is to push the limits of creativity? 

I think that is probably the definition of ingenuity, but it probably from me comes from a rebellious nature or not wanting to follow the rules in general. I guess you are either going to make a lot of mistakes or learn how to follow the rules first. I think everyone who makes art is probably in search of some sort of originality. Even though nothing is new under the sun, like a lot of people talk about all the time, depending on how many people you borrow from or how many disciplines you can borrow from, you might touch something new.

When you are making are you trying to communicate an idea or to just make a beautiful form?

Form. I don’t have a lot of ideas and that’s maybe why I make pots because the pot itself does that for you, without decoration, without being finished even.

Because you are inbetween studios right now, how do you nurture and foster your creativity when you don’t have the ability to do a full expression of it right now?

You learn how to hold your breath I think and  put your energy into a building instead of making art.  A lot of energy goes into cutting trees down and physical athleticism I guess.

How about the community? You have moved from one place where you grew up and now you are in a new area. How important is making new connections for a maker?

It’s huge. I paid my fee for the Washington Clay Arts Association, but I really want to make it out and meet some people. I have a young family so it is different than when I was a younger man where I could do whatever I wanted to, but people can come visit me too. Once I have a kiln going maybe I will want to build a wood kiln, that’s the kind of community I would like to foster.

What is the best advice you have ever had on how to be more creative?

I am going to go back to Wendy Love and say don’t be afraid to break the stuff that doesn’t meet specifications in the search of that specific thing. Detach yourself from your work in that way. Don’t become precious about your work because I think that stops creativity.


The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf


Instagram: @njkclay

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