It’s no secret that our team collectively swoons over beautiful ceramics—from the craftsmanship involved, to the variety of products, and the fact that most of the time, they are both beautiful AND functional. Enter our July Maker of the Month, Andrew Molleur. His pieces are geometric, precise, and inventive (we love the unique style of water tray that his pieces feature), a reflection of his architecture education. Read on to learn more about his process and inspiration!
You took up ceramics at a young age—how have your technique and style evolved throughout the course of your practice?
The techniques I use now are an accumulation of my work and school experiences. They have evolved from a fairly basic skill set into a wide array of techniques and processes. My style has also changed over the years but there is some consistency when I look back on earlier pieces. What has changed for me, is that I am better able to narrow down exactly which aspects of my style I think are worth keeping around and incorporating them into new pieces. You could say that my style has become more refined with time.
What do you enjoy most about your craft and process, and what has inspired you to continue creating over the years?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my process is discovery. Finding unexpected results in combining materials, better streamlining production or as simple as noticing why a piece is successful or not. The gratification I receive from creating work is what keeps me coming back for more.
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of my process is discovery.”
You have a background in architecture. How have architecture and design principles influenced your own work, and are there any architectural movements in particular that inspire your pieces?
For a short period of time, I considered pursuing a M.Arch degree but realized quickly how much I would miss working with my hands. Although I didn't go forward with the degree, it still has a large influence on my work today. My consideration of proportions, volumes and functionality can all be somewhat attributed to this interest. I definitely have a soft spot for Modernist and Bauhaus architecture, but I also really love Colonial architecture found throughout the Hudson Valley.
Being located in the Hudson Valley, you’ve mentioned the wealth of creative talent that has flocked to the region. How have you collaborated with other designers, artists and craftspeople in your community?
Over the years I have collaborated with several local designers, artists and restaurant owners. Sometimes the projects are short term, whereas others continue to this day. The scope of each project obviously differs, but essentially I design and produce whatever ceramic components are necessary to fulfill the brief.
Many of your pieces strike a balance between functionality and fine art. How does your process lend itself to combining art and science in this way?
I guess you could say ceramic is all science. When it comes down to it, any clay or glaze is a combination of materials in very specific proportions and once heat is applied, it produces something new. Understanding the science allows you to manipulate the material in a desired way. Science is inherently part of every piece I create through the control of material.