Blog by Tamra Booth, Keeeps
It is a dirty job and someone has got to do it, but one of art’s best kept secrets - pottery - is proving a hit with locked down celebrities such as Seth Rogen.
What with the raging pandemic and the endless lockdowns, it is no wonder everyone is depressed and stressed. Step forward, hobbies to fill our time.
For me and many others, pottery is the ultimate mindful hobby. And one of the things I love about making pottery is that it is one of the furthest places away from celebrity and pretence. It is mucky, you are usually on your own, away from social media, it will not make you a millionaire, and it is not very glamorous.
Okay, so there are a few highfalutin ceramicists who can charge thousands for their work. The most famous ‘celebrity’ potter here in the UK is probably the flamboyant Grayson Perry CBE, who in 2003 was the first potter to win the esteemed Turner Prize*. But everyday studio potters quietly go about their business, donning many hats to make a living - designer, manufacturer, technician, cleaner, website designer and manager, social media manager, market stall holder, packaging assistant, and more.
So, imagine my surprise when one day in November last year, up pops Canadian actor and comedian Seth Rogen on my Insta feed* making pottery. Known as being a bit of a ‘pot head’ for other more spacy reasons, it turns out that Seth’s ceramic vases are pretty good (see image below). More modern art than something you would use in your home (apart from his joint ashtrays!), but he is into it. Like, fully into it.
I do not generally follow celebrities, but this guy is sucking me in. I have been following him for a couple of months now and he is getting better and better at pottery. It is fun to watch his excitement as he meets his latest vase from the kiln. His wife, who has had the pottery bug for some time, got him into it. They make their work at their home studio, as well as at potters’ studios, who are literally wetting themselves with excitement at this cool affiliation.
Whilst I knew of other celebrities that like slightly cleaner creative outlets - Meryl Streep likes to knit, the Duchess of Cambridge likes adult colouring books*, and David Beckham has been baking cakes* – Seth Rogen has gone all out and got stuck into the muddy terrain of pottery during Covid-19 lockdown.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo de Caprio apparently also love a bit of clay and spent some time in 2019 bonding over pottery in Brad’s home studio that he had built*. But Seth Rogan is posting his pots online, hanging out with potters, and generally giddy with excitement over his rainbow-coloured creations. And his appreciation of clay is rubbing off on his fans who are starting to appreciate the slow process and the uniqueness of studio pottery.
In an interview with The Cut*, Seth Rogen said, “There’s inherently something meditative about it. I do really like being able to create an artistic expression that is a thing that I can pick up, hold, show to people. It is just so different from what I normally do.”
With this little celebrity clay crush, the Great Pottery Throw Down starting its fourth series this weekend, and with another UK lockdown announced last night, we may see a further boost of appreciation and understanding of this age-old skill. Buying pottery for your home or as a gift, is thoughtful, affordable and often functional, art. As a hobby, it cannot be beaten.
I admit, I was a little wary that Seth Rogan’s Instagram feed was just another celebrity showing off their latest fad. But it seems a little spotlight from a cool celeb with genuine passion, that helps people appreciate handmade pottery, might not be a bad thing after all.
- BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | Profile: Turner winner Grayson Perry
- Seth (@sethrogen) • Instagram photos and videos
- Hobbies successful people like Bill Gates do in their spare time - Business Insider
- 12 celebrity star bakers giving us serious inspiration during lockdown, Hello Magazine
- Brad Pitt And Leonardo DiCaprio Bonded Over This Hobby (thethings.com)
- Seth Rogen Makes Pottery Now (thecut.com)
Photo credits: Seth Rogan, Instagram