Norma Messing, friend of Restorsea and mother of our Board Director Debbie Messing, makes elegant ceramics. Her work ranges from exquisite minimalist pieces (seen above) to wonderful creations of exploding color and gradients. We love the pieces she made for our office and were excited to get to know the woman behind the pottery just a little bit more.  

Restorsea: Every day on our blog Patti gives out her Patti’s Picks, what are some of Norma’s Picks right now?

Norma: The only beauty regimen I’ve ever stuck to is Restorsea and now I swear by their suite of products. Truly this isn’t a commercial, but you know how you go to a high-end cosmetic counter and the saleswoman finds a fatal flaw with your skin that she claims will make you look like the portrait in Dorian Gray's attic unless you purchase her product NOW? Well several months after beginning my Restorsea program I made two such trips, and both those saleswomen gratuitously complimented me on the quality of my skin. For a Woman of a Certain Age that’s high praise, right? I’m addicted to Iyengar yoga for strength and flexibility. Love ethnic food and, if I’m in the mood, enjoy making recipes from the current week’s NYT. Will see anything by Sondheim multiple times (if the Fiasco company’s version of “Into The Woods” comes to NY, run don’t walk).  Ideal weekends are theater, film, and music marathons from my NYC pied-a-terre.

R: Craziest Beauty Remedy You’ve Tried?

N: I don’t follow beauty remedies (after all, where would I start?) but my favorite beauty accessory is an electric face brush that I use with Restorsea’s Reviving Cleanser.

R: How did you become a potter?

N: I started working in clay when my children were younger than my grandchildren are now. It wasn’t love at first feel, but pretty close: the sensation of the material, the mesmerizing spin of the wheel, the physicality (especially learning on kick wheels). Long hiatus for life on the corporate wheel. Then, as I was thinking of next acts, I read an author who recommended selecting an activity after retirement that was ”difficult, with indicia of improvement.” So I retuned to clay. Something hard. Something I will improve in but never control. Something that offers angst and bliss, frequently within the same piece.

R: Where do you find inspiration for your pottery?  

N: I see pottery inspiration everywhere – twisty grape branches look like casserole handles, roof tops that look like lids, jewelry designs that could be models for engraving. Still, mostly my ideas come from the feel of the clay itself. I get enormous pleasure from making pots that are cooked in, served from, eaten out of, held. I like shapes that invite caressing, surfaces that ask to be touched, playfulness that comes from incising and carving, and the occasional frou-frou.

R: Fans of Your Work Would be Surprised to Find Out That…?

N: I have fans? Cool! They might be surprised to know that I’ve never thought of myself as artistic. To me, artists are people who draw or paint or sculpt. I just let the clay speak for itself.

Photo courtesy of Norma Messing.