Created With Care - Meghan Yarnell Ceramics

Our blog is the place where we talk about art. About emotions and energy which create the world around us. It is a place where we learn and get new information. Today we have a great pleasure to present to you one very inspiring lady. The lady who asks the questions looks for an answer and contributes to the positive change in the best way she can. Meghan Yarnell created a pottery brand for which she finds inspiration in one of the most severe problems of her community. Her art pieces educate you most profoundly. With her subtle approach, she leaves a deep mark and makes you think more. What are our priorities in life, where are we heading to?

Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you? 

I am from Toledo, Ohio. Some of my best childhood memories are from the many hours that I spent exploring the woods, field, and pond behind the house I grew up in. These hours were magical and helped begin and fuel my fascination with the natural world. I was very lucky to grow up in a family that valued the arts and always supported my desire to create. 

What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?

I read constantly. Usually, I read something that triggers an idea. I live in a suburb and well manicured, green lawns are the standard. I read that grass is the largest cultivated crop in the United States (and it is essentially worthless). Clovers are nitrogen fixers, they naturally add nitrogen to the soil. Dandelions have long taproots that bring nutrients up to the surface of the soil. Both of these flowers provide food for bees, yet are undesirable in lawns. Herbicides destroy clovers and dandelions and add synthetic nitrogen to the soil, which can run into rivers and lakes. I live near Lake Erie. A few years ago, we had a toxic algae bloom (synthetic fertilizers contribute to this) and we could not drink, or even touch our faucet water for 3 days (and after that it was being treated with so many chemicals that many didn't want to drink it). I began decorating some of my pots with clovers and dandelions in response to this. There are blades of grass mixed in with the flowers, but they are purposefully pale outlines. 
When I first have an idea for a new design, I usually start by gathering information and taking notes in my sketchbook. I search for images and inspiration online, then do some preliminary sketches before testing the design on one of my pots. All of my designs are constantly changing and evolving as I am never content and am constantly reevaluating and changing things! 

What is the back story of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?

I hope to subtly convey the contrast and collision between humans and the natural world by combining images of nature with patterns created with modern symbols like the dollar sign, nuclear symbol, and wifi symbol. I create functional pottery because I love the idea that art can be both beautiful and useful. I like to think that my work is subtlety infused with enough meaning to inspire thought while it is being used.

When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?

I have been teaching art in a public school for the past 16 years, so pottery is not my main source of income. I mainly create pottery because I enjoy it and I find a lot of my identity in being an artist. My advice for starting artists is to define your goals and work towards them. There are so many paths to pursue with art and it's easy to become distracted or overwhelmed. 

What do you prefer, single pieces or storytelling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?

I prefer single pieces. My pottery is functional and designed for everyday use. I would be honored if one of my cups was someone's go-to everyday coffee mug.

Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece?

I love the idea of functional art, something that was created with care by a person and also designed to be used with care by a person. I fell in love with porcelain the minute I saw it being used in college and have used it ever since. My first loves were painting and drawing, so my work contains as many surface design techniques that I can fit on it! 

What does ART, in general, mean to you?

Art is a process, a way of life, and a way of seeing the world. 
The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Meghan Yarnell for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.