Art + Culture

Q+A: Wynne Noble of Art Workshop Experience

Long time DUMBO artist, Wynne Noble, is a potter, sculptor, teacher, artist extraordinaire. Over the years she has created work that’s appeared in many galleries, many high end stores, and has even participated in many DUMBO Arts Festivals. Meet the lady behind the wheel as DUMBO BID fellow Rachel Hamburger, sits down for a chat in her 135 Plymouth Street studio about art, the duality of nature, and Wynne’s pottery classes.

How long have you been in DUMBO?

I have been here for about 30 years now.

So you have seen the neighborhood really evolve over the years. How did you end up in DUMBO?

Oh absolutely. I was working in Soho and then was priced out.

Have you always been interested in pottery?

Always. My interested started as a young girl. I saw a potter making something clay and I said, wow! I want to be that magician.

What inspires you as an artist?

When you walk down the street there is always something going on. I see trees and flowers and I see how everything grows and develops. I see how something springs from the ground and turns into a form. I like to watch the organic process. My work is a story of growth from sprout to full bloom.

From grade school to now – I have always had a concern about the climate. You see tsunami’s, tornado’s, hurricanes… there is this force outside of us we have to care about. We have to come together and talk about the riffs and splits coming from the people and the environment. We see the world go from the sublime to the extreme.

It is all about duality of nature. There is nature and there is the nature of people. There is the peaceful and the not peaceful part of the planet. However, what is inside you is not at odds with the outside. There is a place where everything meets.

What is the scope of your work?

Well, there are three parts. First and foremost, I teach. I give classes for adults and children. I also do highly customized production oriented work that is retail and wholesale for restaurants and hotels. And lastly, I also create sculptures. Over the course of the years my sculpture work has seen a change. I think of my work as an evolution. It is very different but genetically the same.

How has your work progressed?

It has not been a radical shift but over time things change. As you are doing things, doors open and you choose which doors you want to open and walk down. I would not define myself as just a potter or a sculptor rather I make things that function in form and space. I evolved from functional forms to nonfunctional forms. It is like a tree where branches go off in many directions. My work does not change rather it gets thicker in depth. It is not epiphanies of separate ideas but a growth process. I have a strict way of looking at things, but I strictly change all the time.

It sounds incredibly human. What do you mean exactly by functional forms and nonfunctional forms?

What I mean is, there is a difference between pieces you can look at and enjoy and pieces you can enjoy as well as use. Each thing I make I try to make it work as a piece and as an object in space. That is what makes a piece successful.

Tell us more about your classes.

I have two types of classes: classes for children and classes for adults. I call them, an “authentic art experience.” They are 4-week sessions and it is a rolling admission basis, you can start at any time. You can be any level and take a class plus if you bring a friend you can get a discount!

For more information on Wynne’s classes check out her website, here!