We had the good fortune of connecting with paul lowe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi paul, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Ever since I was 18 and started my first shop selling vintage clothes from before 1940 I have always worked for myself. I never really had what someone would call a “real” job. At 25 I opened a flower shop, at 30 I started working as a freelance food and prop stylist and at 45 I started a food and craft magazine. Then at 50 I started doing ceramics, fell in love with it so now my days are divided into the magazine and my ceramics. Always been my own master and can’t really imagine doing it any other way. The ceramics started with me trying to find a special plate for a shoot, I could not find it so I guess I had to make it myself. Took a class and it was like a revelation. I LOVE IT. Its such a good thing as Im a very impatient person and the ceramics make me be patient. It needs time and there is no rushing it. After a while people asked me about buying my work and I was like “oh I guess I should open an online shop”, and I did.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is inspired by my Norwegian heritage (I was born there and lived there until I was 40), and Asia. Both has a very similar esthetic, simple, elegant and always true to the material. Simple yet useful shapes. I want people to see that a person has made the object. To me perfection is boring. As my grandmother said once after one of her cakes came out a bit wonky and me commenting. “Oh paul, perfection is so boring”.
So I’m not a 6 perfectly matching cups guy. My work always has a little imperfection in it, always a little off. But still has a beauty to it. I think about clay is that you can’t be afraid of the material. Clay is alive, it moves and has a memory. I always say to a new block of clay “you are my bitch”. Im in charge. Its also all about learning, I have only done it for 5 years, still so much to learn and I love that about it. I work in a great communal studio here in Palm Springs with a lot of amazing people who I can always ask for advice. Also set up a little studio in my garage now in Covid times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Where to start….. Food, I would take them to Pig and the Rooster, amazing asian food.Shermans for the most delicious brisket, Melvins for an old time fancy meal and El Mirasol for the best queso ever. We would off course go shopping at my husbands shop Mojave Flea Trading Post, hit the vintage shops consignment stores. We would hang out at Hunters for some drag queen bingo, sit trendy cocktails at Mr.Lyons and have some poolside fun at the ACE hotel. Then I would give them a map of the hikes around here and say HAVE FUN…. Not going hiking here because of snakes. Other things, Joshua Tree, Mortens botchanical gardens, Palm Springs vintage market and getting matching tattoos.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband James Anthony, who always believes in me.
alina mendoza paul lowe