Most art-related events have been canceled and galleries are closed due to COVID-19. But that does not mean that artists are not creating new work.
Tom Larkin is a potter and he with his brother Jeff Larkin owns and runs Featherstone Pottery in Red Wing. Tom answered a couple of questions for the Republican Eagle about his art:
1. What type of art do you do?
Functional wood-fired pottery, a majority of which is used for baking, serving and eating great food. Also, I make pots that are decorative ranging from large vases to hold sunflowers to storage containers of all shapes and sizes.
2. What draws you to this medium/media?
I like to work with clay because it is not always predictable. No two pieces turn out alike, even if they are the same shape and glazed with the same glaze. The fire affects the pottery depending on where it is placed in the wood-fired kiln.
3. How long have you been creating art? Is this a new skill or something that you've been focusing on for a long time?
We built Featherstone Pottery studio and kiln in 1979 on my mother's family farm and have been making and firing pots since 1980.
4. Who are your biggest influences?
English craftsman potters, to include my eldest brother, Jeff Larkin, who focused on functional vs. sculptural pottery.
5. What are you working on now?
People who come to Featherstone Pottery studio find mugs, bowls, casserole/baking dishes, teapots, etc. Every year I expand the shapes and forms to produce new items.
6. Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your art/work at all?
The location of our studio allows me to comply with recommended guidelines although I feel empathy for my artist friends and colleagues whose ability to work has been affected.
7. Anything else that readers should know about you?
I equally enjoy interacting with people who have used Featherstone Pottery for years and those who are recent visitors. We encourage people to connect with us and learn about our annual events via our website: www.featherstonepottery.com.