Lemon Pop Ceramics is a pottery brand created by Lena Y., based in Winona Minnesota. I have known Lena since we were about 16/18 and have always wanted some of her pieces- so I had her come to my house a few months ago and I picked from all of her awesome wares! I own about five pieces (two bowls, two mugs, and a tumbler cup) but I hope to scoot into her studio someday and pick up a few more.
She makes everything from bowls to teapots, cups, lidded mugs (my favorite!), vases, etc.
This is a short interview conducted over the phone- the bold text is me asking a question, and the regular text is Lena answering. Her answers are very humorous and insightful and I hope you enjoy this little interview.
What got you into art? Was there one specific influence or did it just start happening?
When I was younger, I would say that I started out- my parents always saw that I was going to be an artistic person- I would find the nearest wall and color on it- even if it wasn’t at my own house. I know there were at least three houses I’ve hit that were not mine. Even when I got into 7th & 8th grade I kept on drawing on my walls, my mom said “nothing has changed since you were born”. I always look at art as a way to get out my energy. When I was maybe in middle school or so I didn’t know I had a learning disability, I didn’t know that I couldn’t register anything in my head, I was fascinated with shapes, objects, colors, forms. I wanted to replicate those. I spent all of my time drawing or socializing with people instead of learning in class. When I was older I was finally diagnosed with ADD and it helped me balance and learn more about art. I have become more recognized by people, it was just by nature. I guess I wasn’t influenced by one person to start making art.
What is your favorite kind of piece to make? Something comfortable or experimental?
The difficult thing about that, is that I’m always trying to be experimental. As an art student it’s like people ask you- do you like to paint, draw, what? I always go through phases. I sometimes have a short phase where I go through something new. It doesn’t help making a name for yourself. I’ve been trying to learn on my own and try new things with the mediums I’m given. [For example] We were never taught what to do with glass but I’ve ordered my own and tried things with it that I wouldn’t have before. Ceramics is such a big realm and there are so many things I want to do.
Where do you want your art to be in the future?
I would like to see my work anywhere. I would like to randomly meet somebody, and if I ever went to their house, and that piece they have over their kitchen table /fireplace- that work is mine! I don’t care about having my work in private collections, I care if it is being cared for in everyday households. I care about people kicking out mass produced table settings, I care about people not looking at my things and saying “Oh, I can get one of those at 50 cents at wherever”. I don’t want my things to look mass-produced. I have been in a couple of galleries, I don’t mind that at all, I guess I don’t care where my art goes as long as it’s being appreciated.
If you could learn any new skill what would it be?
Either blowing glass or woodworking. I would love to eventually fuse pottery with metalwork, glasswork, or with wood. Both wood and glass are both something you can shape and mold. I’ve always been a hands on person. As great as it is to make something 2D, to get messy with paint, it isn’t the same as making something that you can hold. Something about working with your hands, there is a lot of anticipation. It feels like Christmas every time I open up the kiln, it’s all that you can think about. I remember one time last semester, the very last glaze, I was at my house- I was checking up on it. All I could think about it was the kiln. I had five different dreams about the kiln that night. I went there- and it wasn’t cold enough! So I took a nap in the studio and let it cool down. I would love to mix media with my ceramics, as a student that is hard right now, but that’s what I want to do.
You can find photos of finished works, in-progress photos, and pieces to buy on Lemon Pop Ceramic’s Facebook page here.
Lena’s work is natural, handmade, and heartfelt. I love all of the pieces I own because they are functional and simple. Ceramics is such a rigorous process and her artistic flair definitely shines through in all of her work.
Photos 1, 2, 5 & 6 are from Lemon Pop Ceramics FB page
Photos 3 & 4 are mine, showing me or pieces I own.