Today's artist feature is so much fun. Alex Salzberg expertly executes a style I've started calling "elevated silliness". Read on to learn more about Alex's work and inspirations, and if you're lucky - you can snag a limited edition candle in one of Alex's "mood swing" vessels!
Where do you call home?
My husband and I moved to Raleigh, NC in March 2020. I had been living in NYC for 12 years. It’s a big change but both feel like home in their own ways.
Why do you create?
I create ceramics because it feels like a natural outlet for my energy. I get grounded when I create and that, in itself is enough of a reason, but I also get the added joy of sharing my creations with people who respond positively to them. I create functional and sculptural ceramics. My work ranges from cups and planters with silly faces to delicate bowls and decorative sculptures, mostly inspired by birds. My aim with my more whimsical and silly work is to make people laugh, and with my more delicate pieces I want to bring a small piece of beauty into someone’s home.
How do you bring art into your everyday?
I try to do something everyday that uses some creative energy, whether it is cooking, going for a walk, or working on pieces in our garage. Some days I don’t feel like being creative and I don’t try to push myself on those days, I need time to recharge my creative bank.
What gets you super excited about life?
Starting a family and inspiring our kids to find their own creativity and joy. During non-covid times I am usually teaching groups of children handbuilding, they are always so funny and really inspiring since their perspectives are so unique.
Do you have a favorite artist?
If so, who and why? I have so many favorites but I really love the Martin Brothers ceramics because they are so whimsical and intricate. Their work makes me laugh and their technique is so impressive. It may sound cliche but I also love Picasso’s ceramics, he also did a lot of bird focused work and I find them really fun and inspiring.
What’s your favorite place to get inspired?
There isn’t one particular place, I get inspired when I go on walks, whether it’s in a city, in a suburb, or on a hike in nature. I have family that lives in a small town in Italy, the mountains there are incredibly inspiring, the air there just feels magical.
What inspired the design for your Standard Wax vessel?
I love the idea of a fun “mood candle” that you can turn depending on how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling happy you have a little guy smiling, and if you’re feeling confused, surprised, or if you just need a giggle you have a shocked little guy.
What’s something unique about your work that people won’t see anywhere else?
I think the variety in my work is unique, I think it’s unexpected that I have both very silly pieces and also refined and delicate pieces. My goal with some is to make people laugh and with others to add something beautiful and unique to their homes.
New York, always
Takahachi in the east village, best sushi and people. Twelve years ago when I started going it was relatively unknown, now or at least pre-covid they always had a long wait.
Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, Monet designed two rooms to showcase his very large paintings of water lilies. It is so calming and beautiful. I studied abroad in Paris during my sophomore year and because I was taking a few art history classes so I had a free pass to all museums, I went to see the water lilies almost every week.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My husband and I have a big garden here in NC that brings us so much joy but even when we were living in Brooklyn we had a garden in boxes. Gardening gives me a lot of peace and refills my creative energy. My husband is a woodworker and we are sharing space in our garage until we can get my studio up and running.