Today, I’m honored to introduce you to a dear friend and amazingly talented soul, Jeffrey Loura. Jeffrey’s pottery has been inspiring and amazing me for as long as I can remember. The studied shapes, the layered + textured color, rich and inviting to the eye. Jeffrey is a multi-talented designer, chef, and creative truly pushing the boundaries of his process to create the most amazing story + work. I’m so happy for you to know him a bit more.
Tell us a bit about yourself. A methodical loner who is funnier when you are invited in. Once invited, dinner and drinks are served. I spend my mornings at the studio then the day at the computer. I love to cook a good dinner or brunch and maybe invite some friends to join.
I create organic elemental vessels. The concentration of my work is the idea of familiarity and opposing concepts. The duality of individualism vs community. Female vs. male. Life vs death. I organize shapes creating tension between the negative and positive. The rich patina evokes a futuristic past. The space between duality is the result of these peaceful forms.
What is your FIRST memory of being creative? My babysitter was an art major and I would draw with her. Still remember the drawing I gave her when she moved away. It was of a playground with a cityscape in the background. The first proud piece I made.
When did you find your way back to creativity? Creatives need to be creative. It’s not a choice. Embracing it was the first step and making it a priority was the second. My upbringing was about being practical so art wasn’t considered a priority. It’s still a struggle I have and it’s part of why I make what I make too. I had a lot of requests to make functional pieces but that doesn’t interest me. Making something functional is practical, so I decline.
What’s your creative practice look like on an average day? I head to the studio at 5am so I can get a good 3 hours in a day before I head to my day job. Usually, I sketch some ideas of what I would like to make the night before. Creating a plan before throwing the pieces is a critical step. Because the connections are so narrow, each piece needs to have it’s center of gravity level. If the pieces aren’t aligned at the assemblage stage, they will lean in the firing. It takes about a month for the piece to be completed.
Where do you find your inspiration? Most of my inspiration comes from nature. Abstracting forms from nature is what I love to do and leaving just enough evidence for the viewer.
Tell us a bit about your space and your tools. La Mano is located in Chelsea and as a studio potter, I get 24 hour access which is a great privilege to have living in the city. I go into the studio in the early morning and usually get the place to myself. It’s a wonderful place to be creative. I like to organize my tools in three containers (throwing, trimming, painting). My favorite tool is this metal rod I bought at a hardware store. I use it for throwing when shaping the pieces. It smooths out the surface leaving no indication of the hand.
What advice would you give to anyone starting their own creative journey? Anything is possible. Just find a way.
Rapid Fire Round.
My creative habit brings me: purpose
My advice to anyone looking to push themselves into a creative life_ Failing is good. Embrace it.
Favorite book: Middlesex.
Favorite cocktail_ Plymouth Gin and tonic,
Thanks Jeffrey for sharing your work, your process and your space with us! You can find more of Jeffrey’s work at Culture Object, Garde Shop, Odem Atelier, Liaigre London, Liaigre Munich and on Instagram.
If you or someone you know is a creative and would like to be featured here, drop us a note, we’d love to connect_ email@example.com.