Maker's Mark Bios: AZ- Ariel Zimman
At Portland Growler Company we partner with studios that care about nurturing their employees creative passions. Our ceramic production partner, Mudshark Studios exemplifies this sort of partnership. The creative endeavors, experience and contributions of each member of the team that produces our growlers can be seen in each and every growler they make. Take a look at the bottom of your growler to see the initials of that growler's maker; maker's marks are our way of helping you put a face with a name and show you what true handcrafted quality means to us. We recently visited with our team at Mudshark and we asked each artist the same questions about life, beer, and art and we'll be introducing you to them here.
Meet Ariel Zimman. Ariel trims the growlers after they are removed from the plaster molds. You've got one of her growlers if you see an 'AZ' on the bottom.
Name: Ariel Zimman
Hometown: Reston, VA
Education/Life Experience: I started throwing in 3rd grade and continued all through high school. I attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Tufts (a joint program but the degree is from Tufts) My focus was sculpture, photography, ceramics, welding & woodworking.
How did you get started at Mudshark? I was telling a friend of mine that working with clay was my dream job, and she said “I don’t know what they do over there, but the guys across the street are always covered in clay.” I came over to investigate, but they weren’t hiring. I offered to volunteer for a few weeks until a job came open. If you just keep showing up they realize that you’re serious and you aren’t going away. They hired me.
Why do you like working in clay? That's a loaded question! I am a really tactile person. I like that clay comes from the earth. Really, I just love clay and I’ve always loved clay. It’s so fluid. You can do things with it that you can’t do with other materials; although it’s also one of the most frustrating materials to work with. I like that it’s direct response- you don’t necessarily need other tools besides your hands to shape clay... just a lot of space and all the equipment.
Where have you taken your growler (Hiking, biking, traveling, parties, etc)?
I take my growler to the park, to BBQ’s and camping, especially in the summer time.
What are your goals as an artist/maker?
I started my own business last year, making ceramic decor for home and garden. Slip cast, hand build and wheel thrown. As much as I love working at Mudshark, it would be great to do my own thing full time.
If you could share a growler fill with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
Salvadore Dali. He was probably one of the wackiest people I could ever hope to encounter. He’s not my favorite artist, but when I look at his artwork I have to imagine he was a cool guy. I went to the Dali Museum outside of Barcelona, and it was very different than most curated museum experiences. Dali even designed the building. I got a thumb keychain from the museum gift shop and I carry it with me as a reminder that it’s ok to be a weirdo sometimes.