interview FREDERICK VERNON
Where are you from?
I’m from Oklahoma and now live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Could you Family, childhood, how did you get interested in art?
I’m the youngest of three children and the only boy. I’ve always been that artistic kid and I used my creativity as an outlet from a very young age. Most likely because I was unable to express who I was as a gay child growing up in Oklahoma during the eighties and nineties, I used art to live out a lot of my own fantasises and desires. I settled on ceramics when I was at University.
Who are your biggest artist influences?
Tom of Finland, Pierre et Gilles, James Bidgood, Michelangelo.
How people react to your works?
Most folks I show it to think its a blast. I guess because I make of a certain subject matter or genre, I naturally try to find its natural audience. So, I’ve received good responses to it.
What is the working process to make a ’Crockery’?
The plates are hand built using a hump mould. I apply a white slip, which I draw on once it is leather hard. Then I carve the drawing into the slip to reveal the red clay body, in a process called sgraffito. The last step before firing is to apply a very fine slip, called terrasigillata, to the exposed red clay and then I burnish, or rub, the slip to achieve a satin finish. The mugs are made in essentially the same process, with the exception of being wheel thrown instead of hand built.
Can you share a few words about ’Heads and Tails’ project?
The Heads and Tails project is an exhibition at Clay Arts Vegas with my fellow queer ceramic artist, Clayton Keyes. Clayton’s work in the exhibition consists primarily of ceramic bust forms, thus the terms ’’Heads.” They focus on the concept of identity as it pertains to our current cultural examinations of that idea. My work is a bit more playful, but is also my embrace of gay culture, which is informed by my own identity. Because my work portrays a lot of sexual situations and fetishes, it is represented by the word ’’Tail” in the shows title.
What project are you working now? Or is any upcoming project in 2017?
I am back in the studio trying to replenish my online store with more of my C(r)OCKERY line. I also will be genereating more work for an ongoing collaboration I do with Jeremy Lucido of Starrfucker Magazine. As for something upcoming, I have several ideas pertaining to my JOCKERY line, a line of ceramic Jockstraps and fetish gear, as well as more wearable pieces.