Mérida Anderson

December 11, 2017

Mérida Anderson is a Montreal based multidisciplinary queer ceramicist, collective organizer, visual artist, and fashion designer. Their visual art practice includes the ceramic arts, illustration, painting and photography, but is primarily based in ceramics and installation sculpture drawing from aspects of natural and manufactured landscapes, minimalism, abstraction and craft.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. At the moment I only wear about two hats, but I have had many, many hats. At the moment I work with clay full time, working on the things that make my living, the more functional wares and trying to make sure I have the time to explore more fun things on the side to be able to bring them into my everyday work. I also run a supper club which I have done for 10 years now. It started in Vancouver and followed me to New York and now Montreal. I have written a cookbook on the subject.

How did your interest in your work begin? My grandparents were potters, and even though they stopped their practice before I was 6, I still remember working with clay in their basement and exploring all the sculptures in their house. I have always wanted to work with clay but it was only about 6 years ago that I started truly pursuing it.

What kinds of things are influencing your work right now? I am very much into the idea of fake food, man made food made into fake food that is more appealing than the real food. As well, the idea of something being three dimensional but still somehow looking like a drawing, or two dimensional object.

What is it like living and working in Montreal? Montreal is truly a magical place for artists. It’s still relatively cheap to live and because of this, it’s filled with artists of all ages, and it being so transient there are people coming and going, and so much inspiration. I work currently in a studio collective shared with other creatives in fashion, jewelry, leather work and design.

What is your absolute favorite place in the world to be? There is a place in BC called Green lake and I dream about it all the time. A small log cabin and clear emerald water.

Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your work? I approach ceramics from a design aspect, and because of the clean aesthetic of my vision I can get into interesting situations where people don’t even understand that the objects are even ceramic. I see people hitting a bowl on its side on the table because they don’t understand what it’s made of. I also get into trouble when the hand made aspect of my work shows, like a glaze drip for example, and it throws people off. Recently I have been throwing hollow ice cream cones on the wheel and I have been loving the interactions with it. Fake food brings people joy, me especially.

What are you really excited about right now? As of this moment I am exploring screen printing on clay which is opening up a lot of fun ideas.

Most embarrassing moment? In life? That’s a tough one because I am sure I embarrass myself on the regular.

If you could go back in time and experience one day in history, which day would that be? I would definitely go back and just be Neil Armstrong as he steps on the moon… then I would know if it was a hoax ;)… and if not, then it would still be the best thing I could think of experiencing.