Chili Bowl Intern Profile: Bree Hendricks

February 19, 2018 by

This article was first published before the WSW’s 21st Annual Chili Bowl Fiesta, which has since come to pass. 

Breana Hendricks has been sculpting, throwing, and decorating bowls of all kinds during her Chili Bowl Internship at WSW, not to mention teaching classes and making her own work. During this busy season we found some time and talk over warm drinks about what her experience has been here, her art, and her goals for the near future.

Let’s start with the basics, where are you from?

I was born and raised in the Bronx, NY and currently live there.

The city gets a lot of hype, do you feel that way about it or is it different because you grew up there?

I love the city because I have access to museums and different art communities I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. I would go to the MoMA and MoMA PS1 (I worked there!), the Brooklyn Museum. I think it’s hyped up, but for good reason.

How did you get involved in ceramics?

I was drawn to the idea of bringing physical objects into the world that allow us to have a different perspective of how we view the world and each other.

As a sophomore at SUNY New Paltz, I was interested in studying cultural anthropology and was on track to declaring a major in Anthropology. After taking an introductory ceramics course, I knew I couldn’t look back. I changed my major to a BFA in ceramics shortly after. I loved the sense of community that the ceramics program had to offer. It was always a great time!

What has been your experience at WSW so far?

Being able to make pottery full time is a thrill, it’s both rigorous and exciting to see how much work I am producing. I mean, I’m making 75 bowls a week! I have loved being able to create and share ideas with other students and renters of the WSW community, and I’m always inspired when I enter the studio.

Is production work something you can see yourself doing in the future?

I don’t think I’ll be doing production work, but I know how to make a good pot now! There is a lot of practice that goes into it and I’m glad I’m getting better.

What about WSW is different from other studios you’ve worked in?

I’m truly inspired by how dedicated the staff is to working here; everyone is so friendly! There is a real appreciation for having interns here and I have felt welcome since my first day.

How do you see this internship informing your personal practice?

My personal work is mostly sculptural. I think being here is allowing me to explore more decorative and finishing options that I otherwise would not have been able to, and I get to practice on so many bowls! I hope to incorporate all of my learned screenprinting and decal practices into my normal works.

In what ways do you see your work evolving?

I see it moving in the direction of larger sculptures or smaller, functional pottery that can be used for every day. I feel I have a chance to explore shapes, colors, and of course more printmaking processes to give my work a clearer narrative.

Chili Bowl is right around the corner! What are you most looking forward to?

I can’t wait to see all of the bowls that the community has been making and decorating all set up, priced, and ready to sell. Since all of the bowls are currently in boxes or stacked on shelves, it’s hard to see all of the work we have put in. I hope we have exceeded bowl numbers this year–I have my fingers crossed!

What advice do you have for the next CB Intern?

Take at least one day off! Enjoy your weekend! Spending all of my time in the studio can be easily tiring, so I always look forward to spending a bit of time exploring Rosendale, Kingston, New Paltz, or even just lounging around. All of the cool places in the nearby towns make this internship even better.

What are your plans for after this internship?

I hope to continue traveling! I’d like to visit Jamaica after this. I want to take a workshop there about wood firing pottery and meet local artists. And, since my family is from there, it’s like a pilgrimage for me because I’ve never been. I feel like if I go there, I’ll see work that I can connect to or make work that speaks to someone who I can connect with.