Artist Lindsey Hampton On Ceramic Souvenirs & Clever Murder Weapons

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by Ken Tsui | With the February edition of PechaKucha Vancouver just around the corner, we caught up with Lindsey Hampton, a graphic designer, ceramicist and one of the speakers hopping on stage for the February 9th show at The Vancouver Playhouse. With her attentions paid to playful shapes and serene colour palettes that look the way Brian Eno sounds, Lindsey has garnered national attention with shout outs from The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Nylon. We had a chance to sit down with Lindsey in her Mount Pleasant studio to talk a little more about problem-solving leaky styrofoam containers, perfect murder weapons and public speaking.

What is the song you can play in your studio over and over again? I listen to a lot of different kinds of music but to be honest, I mostly listen to podcasts while I’m at the studio.

Okay, then how about a podcast episode you could listen to on repeat? I’ve been really into “My Favourite Murder” …an early episode of that.

Since you’ve been listening to a podcast about murder, what is the perfect murder weapon? An icicle.

That is totally mine too! It’s the smartest murder weapon. Has it ever been used before? I don’t know.

Yeah, John McClane (Bruce Willis) uses one in Die Hard 2. Speaking of movies, if one of your ceramics could live onscreen, which film and what would it be? A vase for a movie like “Her.” You know when people make the future look like the past, so you don’t actually ever know when it’s supposed to be set? I like the timelessness of it.

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If you could change the sound of a ceramic shattering, what sound would that be? I don’t think I would change it, because it’s the perfect sound. It sounds dramatic when it happens so I wouldn’t want it to be something I’d like to hear all the time.

What is something you want to design or make but haven’t yet? A chair! I want to make a ceramic chair. People have interesting relationships with chairs.

I’m standing in your studio with noodles and soup, what should I eat them out of? Like, you took them (the noodles and soup) to-go?

Yeah, I got take-out in a leaky styrofoam container. There’s soup everywhere. We gotta put it in something, but what? I have this one bowl that’s been in my studio for a really long time. It has a crack in it that doesn’t go all the way through but I can’t sell it. I always eat popcorn out of it. But you can chuck it in there, because it will always be here. It’s quite large, so it’d be funny to see you eat out of it.

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You’ve been commissioned to make a souvenir for Vancouver. What is it? A one-hitter (pipe) that looks like a rolled up yoga mat.

If there is someone living or dead you could make something for, who would it be and what? I’d make Michelle Obama a coffee cup. I feel like she’s someone who enjoys a good morning, y’know? With a hot drink and a nice chenille throw on a mahogany couch. And she’ll have some extra time now.

When you’re public speaking, you imagine that everyone is ______ . Not there. I think that is the only thing I can ever do.

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