Seattle- Brooklyn based ceramicist Kelsey Malone's perfectly imperfect functional sculptures are playful and inclusive and that's exactly how she wants it. Learn how this young artist found her way to creating her signature "wonky ladies", what and who she finds inspiring and how the "7 stages of clay" might be the perfect titles to the chapters of her memoir.
Kelsey, how did Busted Ceramics come to be? What was your creative motivation?
In 2016 I saw an adorable boobie vessel at Otherwildin Los Angeles, it was fun and empowering, but it was slip cast meaning it was the exactly the same as all the others. At the time I was in a ceramics class, and began making hand built ladies. The lack of symmetry gave each piece its own personality, and uplifted all sorts of body types. My first collection was sold in Seattle at the (now closed) Nube boutique, I was just out of high school at the time so it was a huge honor.
Who and what inspires you?
So many, so much! In terms of sculpture and ceramics, I love the work of Betty Woodman, Katie Stout, Simone Leigh, Simone Bodmer-Turner. Seattle based multi- disciplinary artist Greg Lundgren founder of MoM has been a mentor to me. This fall, I had the pleasure of working for Chris Crawford of Tart Vinegar she taught me about the scrappy brilliance of a one woman show. Brooklyn based Chef Tara Thomas is incredibly inspiring. Currently, I'm digging into the work of Tom Sachs and I was recently gifted Glenn Adamson’s book Objects: USA 2020a survey of contemporary sculptures which I'm loving.
Simon Leigh @ Lacma
What’s the one thing you hope people take away from your work?
My favorite thing is watching people be drawn to specific vessels. At markets or pop-ups, people mention finding “a replica of themself” or a must-have gift for a friend. I hope having a Busted Ceramic on your bookshelf helps de-stigmatize the female body. (i.e free the nipple!). Having a wonky lady on your dresser should make you feel happy and beautiful, fun and light.
What is something meaningful you choose to invest in outside of your work? I try to support independent makers as much as possible. I believe it's one of the most important things you can do to support and strengthen your community. Some current favorites are Current Cassis, Mater Soap, Conserva Culture, La Réunion, Yui Candles, and so many small wine shops… I could go on! Shops like Cura Collective, that find and support makers, are so vital.
What's on your playlist right now?
I’m a big podcaster, but Con Todo El Mundo by Khruangbin is probably my most played album. I also love Grimes
If you wrote your memoir what would be the title of each chapter?
I once wrote a nonfiction essay with each section titled after the seven stages of clay: Dry, Slip, Workable, Leather Hard, Bone Dry, Bisque, and Glaze. Maybe I'd use those?
Seems word perfect to us.
Find your perfect Busted lady here.
*This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity