You are in for a real treat today dear readers— the talented duo of Nancy Pizarro and Andy Witt have agreed to be interviewed for this week’s Indie Artist Fixx. If you are not sure who Nancy and Andy are, I know you surely recognize the name Circa Ceramics…ahh, yes that does it. Yes, Nancy and Andy are the ceramic creating geniuses behind Circa Ceramics. A real collaborative team, Nancy and Andy create the best in functional decorative ceramic homewares. They combine equal parts form and function with a little of the whimsical thrown in for good measure. It was a real pleasure to interview these guys…you’ll see what I mean when you read my interview with them below!
Nancy Pizarro and Andy Witt of Circa Ceramics in their own words…
1. What’s the name of your business and what do create and sell?
Circa Ceramics – We make functional decorated ware for the adventurous entertainer.
2. When did you get started with your business and why did you decide to open your own indie biz?
1999. We’ d just moved back to Chicago and while we were both working dead end jobs we needed a creative outlet that also provided us with a little bit of income. Luckily we found an opportunity (and a receptive audience) to design, create and sell functional ware through Chicago’s various art festivals.
3. What’s the creative process like for you?
andy: I tend to put a lot of roadblocks in front of a new idea, these are usually in the form of trying out some new or different processes. To make a simple magnet turns into a long trial and error exploration of pressing clay with air-release dies.
nancy: I am the remover of said roadblocks – We bounce ideas off each other all day long, and in doing that, come full circle to a resolution. It’s an adventure every single time!
4. What’s been your biggest accomplishment so far?
andy: Getting Nancy to move half way across the country with me.
nancy: Getting Andy to move back to Chicago!
5. Tell us one funny/goofy/silly thing about yourself.
nancy: I love to cook while there is a football game on tv – There’s something very homey about that!
andy: I used to be able to predict the future (really mundane, like “so and so is calling”) I think all the wi-fi networks are screwing it up.
6. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
We love when an idea comes to fruition. The worst is when all the steps in between start becoming costly or take up too much time. You have to either set it aside or adjust accordingly without compromising the original idea. We butt heads on this from time to time 🙂
7. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
Shops: Mostly for supplies (fun for us, not fun for a lot of people)! Ceramic Supply in Evanston, Pearl Art
Supply here in Chicago—Dick Blick, Joann Fabrics, Laurie’s Planet of Sound.
8. Were you an artsy craftsy kid? If so, what kinds of things did you do?
nancy: My parents sent me to art camps as soon as I hit 5; when I was 8 they started to send me to the School of the Art Institute’s weekend art programs for kids – So more artsy than craftsy!
andy: I could never get my safety scissors to cut a clean line in construction paper; my glue sticks were a mess, and I think my clay pots blew up because they never came back to class 🙁
9. If a genie came along and granted you one wish, what would it be?
andy: I’m a sucker for spoilers, I think it would be kind of weird to catch a glimpse of the end of humanity maybe not actually see it but kind of a date stamp and an understanding of how far we went.
nancy: [still thinking…]
10. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
We’ve talked about this a lot, because the way we see it, anyone carrying their own weight as an artist, crafter, baker, gardener, coffee roaster—this can go on and on—is indie. No age or genre boundaries. No stereotyping. Wow, that was a bit esoteric and idealistic!
11. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
andy: Books researching casting slips. In Chicago, we have access to 2 great college radio stations (WLUW and WNUR) and in the small hours I find myself listening to Global Overnight. We usually watch some part of Adult Swim on Sunday nights.
nancy: I listen to a lot of digital audio books while working, so at the moment I’ve started in on Laura Lippman’s series about a Baltimore PI. When not wearing the earbuds, I listen to NPR. And I like catching Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on the BBC channel when I can 🙂
12. What are your inspirations?
Our conversations. We come up with some of our best ideas in conversations, usually when we’re eating or drinking coffee.
13. What’s new for 2008? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
A few new shapes to our functional ware line, a new decorative piece along the vein of our art tile, and a pendant 🙂