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Recently we got to visit with Natan Moss at his new studio space to get a glimpse of his process, and check out all the new beautiful things he's been working on. It was basically watching relaxing ceramics videos on instagram, but in real life (you know what we're talking about). We're excited to feature him today on our blog, meet Natan!
Tell us a bit about yoruself, and what you do.
NM: I’m a ceramicist, a potter, an artist… Individually or all three, I work with clay.
What about ceramics drew you in initially?
NM: Initially I studied with my Uncle, David Cuzick who has been a studio potter in Southern California for over 40 years. When I was about 19 I saw a documentary about a potter in Colorado. In the documentary the guy held up a beautiful mug and said the mug itself was insignificant, the real importance lay in the conversation or particular emotion facilitaded by the object. For example, the discussion two people might have around the mug while having coffee or a meal shared by friends using his dinnerware. The objects he made were of no real importance, it was what they helped to facilitate. The concept was so humble and yet highly conceptual, I was blown away.
What comes first, the design of the piece, or the design to be put on the piece?
NM: I’d say the form probably, but when it’s successful its a pretty simultaneous process and one that usually happens in the shower.
What's playing in the background while you work?
NM: 80% Audible books, 10% Leonard Cohen, 8% Bob Dylan and 2% Misc.
What're some of your favorite spots in LA?
NM: East Side. I used to say anywhere East of Alvarado, but I think I need to update that to Echo Park Ave or even the 5 fwy. Figueroa and around 50th in Highland Park is a good place, it’s changing fast, but that’s always been an area of the city I feel most at home in. I like to ride my bike along the LA River.
Where’s your favorite spot in your studio, why?
NM: Glazing table. I do some pretty intricate glazing and can easily get lost in the process for hours… It’s not great for my neck however.
Who and what are some of the main influences on your work?
NM: So many. As far as ceramics goes, Harrison Mcintosh, Hans Coper and Ken Price are big influences but so are painters like Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Inka Essenhigh and the textile designs of Anni Albers. I can keep going, but you just asked for some.
Any books that you feel everyone should read?
NM: Sapiens, a brief history of human kind by Yuval Noah Harari. Fascinating… though I Audibled it, hope that counts :)
If your life had a color palette, what would it be?
NM: Tube Socks.
Any new pieces your excited about?
NM: I’m working on a new series of sculptural work that combines traditional shapes with more contemporary forms using vibrant colors. The new stuff hasn’t quite materialized the way I envisioned it in the shower... but I’m getting there.
Photos by Marielle Chua
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