Kim is the first to make a crass joke, the first to call out your awkward remark, and the first to give you a hug in a room filled with people you love. The type of hug that almost brings you to the ground because the weight of the world was missing while y’all weren’t spending time together. Then she’ll make you a cup of tea and want to hear every small detail about your life. The train ride down to Portland, how you got that small rip on the knee of your jeans, she’ll start to tear up a little, then make fun of your haircut -- thats why she's so lovely.
I’ve never had a sister. I grew up with a younger brother. Kim is the most real and perfect example of what a sister would be in my life.
Everything she does has a subtleness to it with a slight touch of imperfection. She’s the type of human that keeps you wondering what she’s thinking- the little kid that follows the older kid around at the park.
Imperfections become quirks that highlight her quietness then show her over all image. I think, self-referencing where that quite stops and the quirks come out. Those details are in everything she does and most importantly in her work. She is a ceramicist. Covet & Ginger is her creation that brings all those subtleties to a common ground. Delicate, quirky, simple, and elegant ceramics.
We met in Portland, OR. Like most of the people I’ve come to love over the years, she was introduced to me by a dear friend.
Her honesty has always been there. As if she trusted me before we ever spoke to each other. We seem to dice the complexities our world is dealing with then brashly cut to a joke that is untimely, with a moments pause of “oh shit, we shouldn’t of said that.”
Above all, I want more people to know her. To understand the real intention of a person that so blindly and intentionally loves those around her. I want you to sit down for a cup of coffee or whiskey or left over noodles from our favorite Vietnamese shop in Portland, OR just to hear what she has to say. Hopefully, this little bit will introduce you to her.
Tell me how you got started in ceramics?
I grew up in an 1850s farmhouse in rural Wisconsin. We were constantly in the midst of remodeling, and upon digging out our basement, we discovered many things; endless treasures—bones of small mammals, an old iron skeleton key, a child’s toy motorcycle, and clay. Lots of gritty red clay. Our home had been built on top of a clay deposit, and that clay would soon be piled onto a corner of our property. During the summer months, my brother and I would make pinch pots and dry them in the sun. We would lose them when the rains came in. It’s a romantic and nostalgic memory for me, but it’s really what got me working with the medium.
I learned to throw on the wheel in high school and studied ceramics in college, but unfortunately, never took art seriously, and was kicked out of the art program circa 2009. It was a huge realization for me, and very necessary in my development. And so, I graduated. And immediately stopped throwing pots.
I moved to the west coast, and soon to Portland, and happened to move into a home and community that now makes up the majority of my closest friends. For my 25th birthday, my friends had pooled their money together so I could purchase my very first pottery wheel. The outpouring of love was extremely uncomfortable to accept, but they had now forced me into taking clay seriously for the first time in my life. If I couldn’t make it a priority for myself, I was going to have to make it a priority for them—I didn’t want them to feel like I had been a lost cause. For that, I’m so grateful. I’ve now been working for Covet + Ginger full-time for two years, and feel like it’s been waiting for me this whole time. I just needed the confidence to show up.
What inspires you to keep making Covet + Ginger?
Everything is inspiring. Relationships, music, nature, dreams—all of these things have influence on me. It’s not so much about inspiration as what propels me. And what propels me is my support system—be it my closest friends, family, studio mates, or absolute strangers who say a kind word about my work. They’re crucial. In moments of doubt, they’ve always been the ones to combat my viewpoints, and don’t give me the option of giving up. I’m consistently floored by the amount of love that is inside of these individuals, and how much they believe in me, and them in each other. They’ve been a true gift to this world of mine, and are my biggest influencers.
I grew up in an abusive household. When I was in high school, my dad told me I would never amount to anything, and that I ought to go to a good college so that I could marry someone wealthy.
It’s been so empowering for me to know the taste of dirt in my mouth, and to stand up and make something of myself in spite of it. So, in a raw and ugly sort of way, that inspires me, too. It just pushes me to make the best damn pots I possibly can and prove to myself I can do it. Throwing pots is so meditative and cathartic, and starting Covet + Ginger has been the sweetest and most loving thing I have ever done for myself.
What do you want to achieve?
In this culture, we tend to look at art classes as being extra-curricular—that there is no real foundation or purpose to them. We teach art to our students so that they too, may teach, we do not teach how to make a living out of art—how to be an artist full-time without a supplement to meet financial constraints. I want people, specifically kids, to see that it can be done, and that there is meaning in art, and a reason to live for it. I want to instill what I’ve learned into others so that hopefully they can do it better.