Artist Spotlight February 15



 

by Sharon Furrate

 

Artist Spotlight: Pam Steinsiek
Her Wheels Keep on Spinning
Coffee Mugs, Gators and More…

 

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Many people have ventured into Mosaic Garden, a retail store located behind Circa 1857 in the historical Mid City area of Baton Rouge and if so, you probably have met the owner, Pam Steinsiek. Many people know Pam as the owner of Mosaic Garden, but some may not realize she is also an artist.
However, before you begin reading about her artistic journey, I must add that once you do venture into this unique retail store, you will want to look in every nook and cranny because you will find something you love. A couple of years ago, I think I spent two hours in there and bought practically all my Christmas gifts and my own coffee mug—created by Pam, the owner of Mosaic Garden, who is also known for her pottery and paintings. I actually have about five coffee mugs by Pam.
In her own words, here is Pam’s journey as an artist:

Q: Please share about your artistic gift. When did you first discover you were an artist?
A: I’m not sure I ever had an aha moment knowing I was an artist. I remember as a child I was constantly doodling. I was always looking at the clouds and drawing images of what I saw. Doodles turned into drawings and soon progressed to paintings and from there I had the need to create in 3-D. So today I paint and make pottery.

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Q: What would you say is your artist statement, why you create?
A: I create because it brings me joy. It’s a great form of meditation for me. The idea of having a big white canvas in front of me and laying down some colors to make a painting or taking a large lump of clay and making a functional piece or sculpture out of it is exciting. The idea of creating a piece someone else is going to enjoy and appreciate is the best compliment one can receive as an artist.

Q: Though you are known for your great retail shop Mosaic Garden share with the readers about your pottery creations. I know the nativities you created were a big hit during the holiday season but you also create coffee mugs, gator bowls and more. Please share about this talent and what you find that sells well:

artist3A: My creations come from my doodles and drawings. I have several journals laying around the house and when an idea hits I grab a journal and put it on paper. Then, it’s on to my garage studio where I actually create. My nativities were a hit and believe it or not I’m still taking orders for them. My gators came about when I was having down time in the studio and grabbed a hunk of clay and before you know it I was making tiny gators and then they grew in size. For spring, I have new creations developing. Right now, I am working on a flamingo and fish series. I’m excited to see how they will turn out. One of my first creations were my Mammies and today I still have request for those sweet ladies. I’m always making the coffee mugs and bowls which remain a staple item of my work. The glaze process keeps the mugs and bowls interesting because the entire piece can change entirely just by the application of the glaze.

Q: Do you have any mentors?
A: Yes, I have some very important mentors. For my painting, I would say Marion Drennon. I took an art class from her probably 15 years ago and she gave me the greatest compliment I still remember today. She said to me “You didn’t need lessons to learn to paint. You needed permission.” It freed me to paint. My pottery mentor is Michael Miller. I took pottery lessons from him and haven’t stopped since. I now have a wheel and kiln. He is always available to answer my questions. They are the two I credit for starting my art career. And, my wheel does keep on spinning.

Q: What artist do you admire and why?
A: Oh I can’t just name one artist. It would take this whole magazine to list the many artist and reason why I admire their work. That’s the great thing about art. I have had the privilege of meeting so many and the diversity is awe inspiring not to mention the energy that artists bring. Being around artists and hearing their journeys makes one want to create.

Q: What else brings you joy in life?
A: I’m pretty simple. I love spending time with my family. I love outdoor activities. In the evening, just sitting on my deck listening to the night sounds and then watching sunrises in the morning are priceless. My joy in life is enjoying life.

Q: What are your current artistic goals?
A: Simple—to make more art. Before my father died I always told him my goal was to sell a painting for 10k! A lofty goal but who says it can’t be done. Lol! Dare to dream.

Q: Share anything you would like our readers to know:
A: Well, my studio is my garage. I work best in the early morning. I’ve been known to wake in the middle of the night to paint. When you get an inspiration for a piece you have to act on it. This past summer I completed a really cool project I called the “Loving Cup”. I made 100 cups for a wedding party reception. They were cups for the guest to drink out of and take home as a favor. It’s nice to see the guests that attended the wedding and hear them comment that they are still enjoying their cup.

To find out more about Pam’s paintings and pottery, take time to find her on Facebook. Also, take time to LIKE the Mosaic Garden Facebook page. Pam currently has work in Mosaic Garden and she is working on new pieces for The Foyer located at 3655 Perkins Road. To email Pam, Mosaicgardenbtr@yahoo.com .