12 Questions: Craig Clifford



1.Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

I was born in Southern California, in a town named Hemet. I lived there until I was 21, moved to Long Beach, where I lived until I was 30. I got my BFA from Cal State Long Beach and MFA at Louisiana State University. Debbie and I have lived in Wisconsin for 8 years. We have a 7 year old daughter and a dog.


2. What first inspired you to begin working with ceramics?

In high school all of my friends took ceramics. I considered myself more of a painter, but I wanted to be with my friends. The material stuck with me, I liked how there wasn’t a tool between myself and the material.


3. What is your studio like? Could you share an image?

Debbie and I use our basement as our studio



4. What are some of your rituals in the studio to get the momentum going?

We watch Netflix in the studio. If I’m watching a movie, I always want to see how it ends or if I watch a series I always want to watch the next episode. Debbie watches The Office over and over again


5. How do you overcome ‘failure’?

If a piece fails, I make more. There is always something to learn or a process to take from failure. It’s not a big deal to me.



6. What is the most inspiring place you have been to?

Archie Bray Foundation in Helena MT. Lots of artists working on all kinds of different work. Over the years many different artist have left ceramic pieces behind on the grounds, so it’s sort of a museum.


7. Do you have any other interests or hobbies?

I like walking and birding.



8. Do you collect anything?

Records.


9. What are 1-3 books that have influenced your life?

Slaughter House Five, by Kurt Vonnegut and Harry Potter.


10. What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an artist?

Making sure that I have enough time to make work.



11. Who/What are influences for your work?

Making and seeing art is what influences my work the most. While I’m making I start to wonder what would happen if I had done a certain part differently. So on the next piece I make it differently. Going to museums and galleries and seeing what other artists make is also very important to me.


12. What are you working on right now?

I’m making some new wall-pieces similar to the male and female pieces in the gallery now