Please welcome Tuesday Bassen to Buy Some Damn Art! This is an especially exciting show as it's the first time BSDA has featured non-2D work or what I like to call "art objects." Enjoy!
How long have you drawn your signature faces?
I don't know if I can quantify how long it's been, but I've been doing it long enough to remember my Elementary, Middle, High School and College professors all telling me that I should quit drawing heads or figures and start drawing backgrounds instead. Ultimately, I think that people are fascinating and I love drawing girls best. New York is a great place to live, because I find myself quickly sketching interesting looking people on the subway, in parks, cafés...
Was there an "aha!" moment when you decided to paint your faces on ceramic objects?
I've painted ceramics with my Mom since I was 7 years old, starting at a little pottery café, then in our basement (with our own kiln!), and now she owns two pottery shops in Lincoln, Nebraska! Previously, I had only painted things for myself or as gifts, but over Christmas, I found a clay face that I had sculpted and painted in Kindergarten. I thought "I could do this again now!" and treat the clay faces as art that you could hang right away that don't need a frame.
Are the faces inspired by real people or are they totally made up?
All of them are either made up or very loosely based on people I know.
What do you like about working in clay?
In my professional Illustration practice, I use precise, clean brush strokes, whereas in clay, I can just relax and make things a little less perfect.
What other goods are you creating these days?
I've started doing tons of custom family portraits, as well as tote bags, wooden brooches, zipper bags with my own fabric, and collaborations with friends. My favorite of all is my weekly Illustration for Buzzfeed in collaboration with Doree Shafrir, who is writing a column on women in business.
You sell on etsy. Care to share any funny (or happy) customer stories?
I think the most genuinely happy moment on Etsy was when I uploaded my test batch of clay heads and they sold within 30 minutes of being listed. Not only were they selling quickly, the buyers replied with enthusiastic comments about wanting to see more and wanting to start a collection!