Friday, October 12, 2012

Roxie Lubanovic (Speth) - Potter

Mustache Mugs
Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)

Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)
Minneapolis, MN

Originally from Iowa, I moved to Minneapolis post-college and started taking classes at the Northern Clay Center. Kickstarter allowed me to set up my own space, Frostbeard Studio, where I now work as a full-time potter. I handcraft each individual piece- throwing it on the wheel and then altering them by hand. Each Frostbeard mug is truly unique and meant to bring a smile to the user’s face.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Drawn to whimsical non-traditional designs, I focus on altering simple forms by adding 3D shapes, drawings and carvings (sgraffito). I started making Mustache & Monster mugs about five years ago and I still make them. The great thing about my subject matter is that there are endless possibilities and I can steadily alter my designs to create new pieces. A variant of the Monster Mug, I recently started making Day of the Dead sugar skull mugs. I'm always trying to think of new images to carve or draw. Another new technique I've been experimenting with is using stickers as decals with glazing. There's so many steps in pottery, there's lots of room for artistic growth.

Book Mugs

How did you decide to become an artist?
I've always made art, since I was a kid. When I was only taking English classes in college for my Major, I really missed making art, so I decided to double major. After I graduated I continued making art as a hobby and would show at coffee shops or sell at craft fairs. People bought my stuff and were really supportive. My Mom is a professional quilter (, so I had a great example of someone who makes a living by following her passion. So when I found out about Kickstarter I decided to try to raise the funds for a kiln and wheel hoping to turn my hobby into a business, and it worked! (

Day of the Dead Mug (Calavera)

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
Make lots of art. All the time. My friend Saman Bemel-Benrud said he tries to draw every day and I think that's what you need to do if you want to improve. My husband, Tom Lubanovic (who is also an artist) encourages me to try lots of new things even if I think they'll end up looking bad or silly. And regarding pottery, I had a teacher once tell me that you should never fall in love with a piece of pottery until it's home safe in your cupboard, because there are so many stages where things can go wrong. And it's very breakable. 

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I have an etsy site: but I find that my work sells best in-person since ceramics is such a tactile art. Luckily mugs are an awesome fit with coffee shops and I've had good luck selling at Mapps on Cedar & Riverside, but I'm always on the lookout for new venues. I also sell at craft fairs, and actually helped start The Uptown Market which was both a farmer's market and craft fair, but unfortunately it ended this year. Minneapolis does have a great craft community though, and I'm exited to be joining it. Basically, it's just a matter of doing the leg work and social networking. Facebook is great for that too: 

Minnesota Mugs

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
Some of my favorite artists are the ones that show up regularly at craft fairs or that I dealt with while organize the Uptown Market. HOTTEA did a performance yarn installation for us. Meg Corcoran from Scribblenest is awesome, she does felt work of cute animals. I think I have about ten Adam Turman prints hung around my house and studio. Larrisa Loden always has new, fun and creative vintage inspired jewelry. Our local craft scene is full of some seriously talented people. And as far as potters go, I really like Kip O'Krongly's stencil work; she's fantastic. And another artist from the Northern Clay Center I really admire is Jim Mulfinger, who does amazingly intricate sgraffito pieces. And It'd be silly not to mention my husband Tom, who is a wonderful illustrator and is really fun to collaborate with. 

Plates - Bikes, Fox & Owl

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
MCAD Art Sale and galleries
The Walker (Gift Shop also features MN artists!)

Work by up-and-coming artists, local crafters. Museums are great, but I love seeing what my peers are up to, and at arts & crafts fairs you usually get to meet the artists. 

Monster Mugs

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? and honestly, facebook pages for all of those art galleries and art fairs that I mentioned above. 

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes! My art is currently being featured at Altered Esthetics through October 25th for their "What's Your Function?" show on functional art. Also, on Thursday Oct. 25th, The Walker Art Center is having an event about Kickstarter and my work will be featured there as well, both at the event and in the the Walker Shop the following week. And then on December 7 & 8th I will be participating in No Coast's Craft-o-Rama at the Midtown Global Market.
Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)

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