Production Potter Stars His Own Production | Kevin Leiva | Episode 347

Kevin Leiva | Episode 347

Kevin Leiva was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kevin moved to the United States when he was 10 years old. After high school Kevin found pottery and for most of his pottery career Kevin worked at a high production pottery. Now Kevin has his own pottery studio and runs a wholesale pottery business and a painting and pressure washing business. Kevin spent a lot of time at Arrowmont volunteering and taking classes and has done a work study program.



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When you are doing production pottery you are working your body very hard, so what do you do to keep your back healthy?

I work out a lot. Honestly one of the main reasons I started working out and building muscle was because of the heavy production I was doing. So I always encourage people to be healthy and do some kind of workout. Strength training is a huge factor in what I do, sitting long hours on a wheel, you know as well just as much as I do how heavy that is on your back. You have got to try to take care of yourself as much as you can.

Do you stand up or sit down?

I stand up. I used to sit down but I started getting a lot of back pain after a while sitting down. I don’t know what it was exactly but maybe it was just the way I was trying to lean over. But then I started standing up and I find that with standing up I am able to utilize my whole body and my legs to push down, especially if it’s a larger piece. So it’s a little easier on me. It’s not for everybody.  It definitely took some getting used to when I switched.

How hard was the transition from sitting to standing?

It really took a couple of days of heavy work to get used to it. It is weird at first because you have to get use to not bracing your arms and your legs which you are used to doing sitting down. It almost felt weird not having my legs to lock my arms into place, but you just get used to it. You have to get used to keeping your elbows straight into your sides.

So how do you lock your arms into place?

I lean into the splash pan. I usually set my forearms on the splash pan and I lock my elbows into the sides of my body. So everything I do comes from my core. Locking your arms into your body and core gives you so much more strength and it’s so much easier on you in the long run for sure. But that’s just for me, everybody throws differently. I just found it a lot easier to throw that way.

How does standing help your back as opposed to sitting?

I feel like I can move a lot more. I can use my legs a little more to push forward. Just not having my back in a static sitting down position. Sitting down is just bad for your back in general. It doesn’t allow you to use those core muscles to stabilize yourself. Standing up just allows me to move around and give my back a little fluidity and motion. I have always just found standing up a little easier.

How about stretching. Do you do stretches in the mornings or when you start?

All the time. Yeah. I used to be really into yoga for awhile. I don’t practice it as much as I used to but I still stretch as much as I can.  I try to do it is when I am watching TV, I  just try to take out the yoga mat and be stretching while I do that. Or just try to get it in when I have any time.

What is your favorite piece to make?

I used to get that question a lot. I love vases I guess because they are so different, but I don’t have a favorite piece. Unless I am on the wheel and just creating something, then I’m very happy. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. As long as I am creating something on the wheel I am always happy.

My last question for you: What is your favorite dessert?

Oh, awesome. Tiramasu.

Tiramisu. I love tiramisu. 

It is the best. I could have that anytime.


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


Instagram: @klayva

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