Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
This is the last installment of the crafthaus series "Young Future: Richard Peterson". It was great fun showing Richard's work and letting readers in on his personal background, clay work, and accomplishments.
Thanks for your interest and feedback dear readers, we heard back from many people, clay artists and non-clay artists alike, who were deeply touched and inspired by Richard's story. Thank you also to Charlie Cummings Gallery for allowing us to use their images of Richard's work to illustrate various segments. - And thank you, Richard, for sharing!
Up next: I am currently working on four new interviews with interesting artists, the first of which is coming up soon.
Continued from previous post "I admire".
Crafthaus Editor: When you look back at your high school experience, which really opened up the world for you, if you had advice to give to your younger self or to somebody who is in your situation now, what would you say?
Richard Peterson: Just let it happen. I think it was like one of the biggest mistakes that I wanted to control everything. Now, I just go with the flow. It's so much easier that way. To not constantly fight everything. Just let it happen, you don't have control over things, especially not in clay.
Crafthaus Editor: When you say “let it happen”, what do you want to let happen?
Richard Peterson: Well, at the time, when the whole Berea College thing wasn’t happening for me, I was pretty devastated. But now, I sometimes look back at that situation and ask myself if had I gone to Berea, would I have been able to make the same type of work I do now? I really don't know what I would be making these days.
So that’s why I say ‘just let it happen’, because whatever happens is what is meant to be. I used to be convinced that I had to control as much as possible, probably because I had absolutely zero control over what was happening with my at-home situation. Now that I have some control, as an adult, I let things go and they turn out fine.
Crafthaus Editor: Just let it go and keep looking at the periphery.
Richard Peterson: Yeah, always make the best of what your situation is. If you are not making the best out of it, and if you are not happy, then go do something else.
Crafthaus Editor: What do you think of long-term plans? Do you have long-term plans or do you think those are a waste of time?
Richard Peterson: No, I don't think long-term plans are a waste of time. I think you need some long-term goals in order to have drive.
Crafthaus Editor: What are your goals?
Richard Peterson: I would really love to go into Education. I would love to teach at the college level, but I know that the jobs in that area are dwindling. I hope that if I create good work, people will pay attention.
On the other hand, and with the exhibition and selling experiences I already have, I might get my graduate degree and then continue to make because I know that as an educator you cannot spend much time on your own work any more, and I would miss that.
Right now, love teaching. I jump on every opportunity to share what knowledge I have. I spent so much time learning that it almost becomes an obligation to pass on your knowledge to someone else who is just as hungry for knowledge as you were at one point in time. I would really love to do that, but I don't know where this community and this road will take me.
Whatever opportunities open up, I will probably take them. So in that way it is not always up to me what happens. Right? I might get an offer to do something else, or I might have something that just pops up out of nowhere, something that I wasn't necessarily thinking of, but that fits me just right.
Crafthaus Editor: I think that is a great note to end on. Thank you so much for your time and insights.
Richard Peterson: Thank you. My pleasure.
Richard Peterson is currently an MFA Candidate at the University of Arkansas.
His email is rfpeters_ at _ uark.edu or richthepotter_ at _yahoo.com .
Richard Peterson, "I Used to Hear Voices"
Earthenware, wheelthrown, painted slip and underglaze, fired to cone 4, 3.75 x 2.75 x 3.5 inches.
Photo credit: Charlie Cummings, Charlie Cummings Gallery
Definitely the most engaging and interesting series of articles on Crafthaus. Can't wait to see what comes next!