INTERVIEW WITH MEGHAN GREENLAY
Mayco: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Meghan: My name is Meg and I’ve been working with clay for 4 years. I make pieces for pop-ups and for stores a few days a week at home in the company of my husband Dave and our two cats Archie Valentino and Vincent Price.
I was born with a creative soul - I was rarely seen without a drawing instrument and pad of paper ( or some type of art supplies ) from the earliest age possible. All during school, my favourite classes were art and photography. After graduating high school I applied to become a hairstylist and have had a career doing so for over 20 years now. Presently I own a salon with a few pals and have a pottery line called “Meg Does Pottery"
What drew you towards working with ceramics?
Meghan: I signed up for pottery class at a gallery 4 years ago as a treat to myself. I had recently become self-employed and wanted to expand my creativity. Pottery had been on my list for many years as something I had always wanted to try.
How would you describe your style of work, the materials you use and how you’re inspired?
Meghan: I would describe my style of ceramics as modern with a youthful and whimsical twist. Most of my pieces stem from people I love and places I’ve been. I make housewares and decorative pieces for all ages and interests. My pieces are colourful and have fun details. If you like cats and other cute things you might like my work :)
Can you briefly describe your production process?
Meghan: My production process depends on the time of year. Because I create during the off hours of my day job I have to be really organized.
So it all starts with a list and realistic time frames. If it's pop-up season, I limit or take a break from making for stores and when that ends I switch back to filling orders.I learned this year that my life would be easier if I went almost exclusively with preorders on my website - it was hard to pull the pin on this decision but my line had expanded so much that I couldn’t possibly stock it while doing everything else. January and summers are typically the time where I brainstorm about new collections and test out new designs and pieces so that's what I’m doing right now.
How do Mayco glazes and products fit into your work?
Meghan: One of my main focuses when creating is colour options - I love the selection of colours from the Stroke & Coat series that Mayco offers! It helps me create the colour stories that I’m showcasing with each season and collection. These glazes stay put and I’m able to layer and mix them very effectively.
Is there a universal concept or theme that you would like to retain as the foundation to all your future work?
Meghan: As I continue to create I want to ensure that my pieces feel special to my customers be it at pop-ups or for my wholesale clients. All my pieces are wheel thrown hand sculpted and/or hand painted by me. I also want to keep making and creating designs that make people smile - much of my pottery is gifted and purchased for special occasions so it needs to retain that “feel good” experience.
Can you tell us a little about your studio space? How important is this environment in the conceptualization of your work?
Meghan: I work from home currently … I have a wheel in the back room of our home, a small spare room for supplies and equipment and a kiln in the basement. During peak times I spread out pretty hard all over the house and my husband is amazing for putting up with it! LOL Pottery by no means is a clean or glamorous activity.
What have been the most influential and career changing experiences you have had? What about these experiences was so important?
Meghan: I feel lucky that I had some very nice invitations within the first year or two of starting my business. Companies like Urban Outfitters and West Elm had me at in-store pop-up events which led to strong amounts of exposure to gain some incredible wholesale accounts across Canada. These events were incredible learning tools for me - they helped show me how customers shop. It also helped me scrutinize my work and helped me determine what were my best sellers or what was working best in a boutique or shop.
Can you tell us about any future projects?
Meghan: One of my hopeful projects in the next year is to create an event that runs for half a week that involves me and my maker friends here in Winnipeg. I want this project to be a themed/curated installation of a handful of maker’s work interacting and coexisting with different mediums. With the major surge of pop up maker culture and Instagram popularity, I feel as though there is a drastic gap between artists and their audiences nowadays. This event will include interactive artist talks and possibly workshops with an opportunity to purchase exclusive pieces and possible collabs between different makers.
When you’re not making or promoting your work, what do you do for fun?
Meghan: I love spending time with my husband staying active - we love cross country skiing, boxing, snorkeling and traveling. I love taking photos and cooking as well :)
Follow more of Meghan's work here: