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Life & Work with Michelle Plombon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Plombon.

Hi Michelle, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My mother and father were both creatives and artists. My mother drew, painted with watercolors, made ceramic dolls and sewed. My father was a carpenter and he built furniture. I was the youngest of 5 children and I grew up in a home that participated in and enjoyed the arts. It’s in our genes, and because of that my siblings and I all share our love of the arts together. I appreciate having something in common with my brothers and sisters and find it a real gift that we can all connect with one another in our joy for the arts. Even though my journey began as a very young child, I didn’t pursue my art passion until my mid 40s when I decided to take my first pottery class. After that class and making my first bowl, I was hooked. I love pottery and I continue to make all my own dishes. I do sell my Ugly Sweater Cups and Merrimugs during the Holiday Season for festive beverages. One day it was suggested that I take an abstract painting class to help inspire my glazing techniques in pottery. I always had a love for abstract expressionism and jumped on the idea. Again, after my first class, I was hooked and soon selling my paintings.. Large canvases provide me the most adventure in expression, and there is only so much room to store ….so selling my work is what allows me to continue the adventure.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth road? Is there such a thing? Smooth would not describe my road. My road has been one with challenges that brought opportunities., choices and possibilities. Life never stops giving whether it’s pain or joy. I lost both my parents as a young child and was raised by my siblings and their spouses. How lucky to have had my siblings there, and how lucky that their spouses had room in their hearts for me as well. My life growing up was not traditional, but it was an adventure and art always brought connection and joy. As a young adult, I taught elementary school bringing art into so many of my lessons. As a young parent, I brought art into my home for my four children. Today, I wake up early in the morning when it’s quiet and peaceful and have fun all by myself painting or building pottery. On date night my husband and I will enjoy a fun beverage in one of my Merry Mugs.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
Pottery is what I so often share with family and friends. At times I love to cook a homemade meal from scratch, and nothing is more satisfying than serving my meal on handmade dishes. My pottery is hefty, organic and colorful. Depending on the meal, I have the right serving piece for each dish. My Abstract paintings are also hefty, organic and colorful. I love large canvases, large brushes and lots of paint. I paint layers and layers of detail on each canvas, which surprises me with unplanned combinations and relationships of color, shape and texture. I’m not sure if my work is spontaneous, impulsive or if I’m just too excited to slow down enough to plan out the inspiration that got me moving, but I do enjoy the freedom that comes with expressionistic painting. One of my favorite techniques is buying large rolls of gift wrap paper from the Dollar Store to use as pallet paper. I will unroll 4ft of it, slather paint all over, run my texture tool through it and stamp the design onto the canvas. I do paint with the energy of joy, and that is what I hope it conveys. I can be an anxious person, so I also try to find the calm in my work. I’m most proud when I enjoy looking at what I’ve created.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love, love, love the Twin Cities. The Twin Cities offers so much of what other big cities offer; concerts, plays, museums, sports, fun dinning ….but without all the traffic challenges. Then we have our beautiful lakes everywhere. We have them up north if you want to escape for a weekend, or in the Twin Cities if you just want to go for a quick jog or walk. We were always bringing our young family to Minihaha Waterfalls to hike and to Lake Calhoun to walk and bike . Water is everywhere and it’s beautiful. Winter could be a hell of a lot shorter, but every city and state seem to have their weather challenges. Easy accessibility to beautiful nature getaways is my draw to Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Now that I’m thinking about my younger years parenting, ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) kept us in Minnesota. Minnesota has a very strong educational system and it is available to families when their children are just infants. I’m from Chicago originally and my husband and I lived in the San Francisco area as well as Dayton Ohio. We also investigated the idea of living in other cities, and not only was it the nature that had us coming back, it was the school systems. Unfortunately, not all our communities are served equally. I am from a diverse family that I celebrate, so I am an advocate for equality, inclusivity and tolerance.

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