The audio file for this article was produced by the Ceramic Arts Network staff and not read by the author.

Ceramics Monthly: How do you come up with the forms (or surfaces) that are prevalent in your work?

Ashley Bevington: I start by sketching to get the creative juices flowing and refine several ideas before even opening a bag of clay. Sometimes I’ll begin with the challenge of making a new form and the content grows from there. With my ice cream work, I start with slabs for the waffle cone portion, and add coil and pinched elements to form the rest. I have a collection of cake-icing tips that I use to pipe slip to resemble whipped cream or icing. Lately, I’ve been making candies and other toppings that introduce another aspect of play to the form, like a mouse candy to top an ice cream teapot for example. Little changes like this help to keep things exciting and further develop the work. Trying one new thing can lead to several new ideas or even a new body of work. The end goal is to keep having fun making objects that bring hope to a seemingly hopeless world.

1 Clown Ice Cream Jar, 8 in. (20 cm) in height, clay, glaze, fired to cone 6 in oxidation. 2 Pig Ice Cream Cone Yunomi, 4½ in. (11 cm) in width, clay, glaze, fired to cone 6 in oxidation.

CM: Who is your ideal audience?

AB: Those with an uncanny sense of humor who can appreciate the creepy-cute aesthetic.

CM: What role(s) do you think makers play within our current culture? How do you think you contribute to it?

AB: Artists create culture. We have the power to influence how people feel or what’s trendy. In the age of social media, it’s easier to connect with artists, see their processes, and get to know them as people. I think this has sparked a deeper appreciation not only for the arts, but also for all things handmade and/or local.

Current life can be so fast paced and centered around convenience. It’s refreshing knowing exactly who spent hours creating the mug you drink from daily. It forces you to pause, even just for a second, and think of the maker. Living in a space full of other artists’ work is almost like surrounding yourself with the makers themselves. Looking around my house, I have different emotions and associations with every single mug, print, or sculpture. It makes me feel connected to something bigger.

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