The Felt+Fat Team
Nate Mell, Co-Owner
Nate wears a lot of hats, from product design and brand development to collaborative relationships and kiln maintenance. He even gets his hands into production from time-to-time. Nate works daily with the team to envision where Felt + Fat is going and how to invite the best people to come along.
His personal practice at this point is simply Felt+Fat. In the past, Nate's work was quite different and focused on exploring personal / social narratives through mixed media installations.
Q: Cat Person or Dog Person?
A: I grew up having cats. My first pet was a small stray black kitten who I named Midnight - I think I was about 5. My family had a couple more cats as a grew up: Troy and later Steve who was with us from 2001 to earlier this year (he lived a good long life). I always wanted a dog and got one 3 years ago. Rufus is a brown Labradoodle who you may see pop up on our Instagram from time to time. So, it’s a bit of a long-winded answer, but while I have a long history of being a cat-man, currently I am more of a dog person.
Wynn Bauer, Co-Owner
Wynn has designed most of the current Felt+Fat forms and is always experimenting with new ideas for clay bodies, glaze formulas and firing operations. Felt+Fat's line of products are indebted to his strong interest in the formal qualities of ceramics as well as his in-depth appreciation of glaze chemistry.
In Wynn's own words: "I have always been attracted to ceramics. I let clay do what it wants to do, even though I try to defy it. I’m also interested in surface. How can surfaces, whether shiny, rugged, smooth, affect the way something is received? I allow for the surface to speak clearly by using simple shapes and forms."
Q: What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
Alex Conner, Managing Partner
Alex oversees business development at Felt+Fat, as well as the recent expansion of direct-to-customer retail sales through the online shop. Being a nerd who likes paperwork, he also handles typing up reports and any HR-esque tasks.
Alex is also an Artist working in installation and sculpture, with a background in ceramics. He heads up the group Philly Stewards, Philadelphia's first group dedicated to the collection, support and promotion of Philadelphia Art and Artists.
Q: If you sidled up to the bar in Heaven, what drink would you order?
Joel Evey, Managing Partner
Joel Evey is a Philadelphia-based Designer, Curator and Thinker-at-Large. He is the Creative Director of Lighht, his own design firm, which focuses on industrial elegance at the intersection of functionality and emergent aesthetics. His previous design clients include Nike, Levi’s, Bloomberg Businessweek, TBWA Chiat Day (Apple), KARA Store, California Institute of the Arts, Modular Records UK, Anna Lunoe, Sixpack France, Blood is the New Black, Redcat Theater.
Q: What is your favorite fact about pigeons?
A: The fact that an adult Pigeon can have a level of intelligence comparable to that of a three year old child.
Maritza Liebetreu, Head of Production
Maritza oversees our Studio's production. That means keeping track of what's being made, helping produce it, and making sure everyone is sufficiently caffeinated.
In terms of her own creative work, I try to communicate my unique impression of the world in all different sorts of media. Whether it's making charming porcelain blobs, illustrating one-eyed babes, or hypnotizing people with sludgy stoner metal bass grooves, everything I make posses a portion of my life to be shared with anyone willing to pay attention.
Q: What's the strangest place you've ever visited?
A: Their's a little tiny bar in the Shimokitazawa district of Setagaya, Tokyo where the walls are plastered with posters of copulating horses and they sell raw horse meat at the bar.
Emily Daley, Production Technician
Emily is the premier glazer in our studio. She's got prodigious talent using a spray gun and is a master ceramics dipper. Emily also helps in regular production when there is nothing to glaze.
Emily is a member of This Many Boyfriends Club where she is an interdisciplinary artist who focuses in ceramics and glass. She is inspired by candy and fluffy.
Q: Have you ever broken any bones?
Steph Liebetreu, Production Technician
Steph is one of the production techs at Felt+Fat. She does a lot of the casting and glazing. If any projects call for illustration on the wares, she's who you wanna call.
Steph is also a visual artist who uses several different mediums including ceramics, printmaking and illustration. She especially loves making work about animals, mythology and dreamscapes.
Q: What was the name of your first pet and what kind of pet was it?
A: A cat named Sunbeam.
Nikki Lau, Production Technician
Nikki is an all-around ceramic whiz. She's a master at filling a bisque kiln and works in every area of production in the studio, lending her help and the expertise she's gained in working with ceramics for many years.
Nikki is an Americorps Alumni and her work in 2011 with Public Allies/ Americorps was a pivotal moment in her art practice. Her themes shifted to identity politics and social justice. She uses large scale installations to unpack inequalities and challenge social hierarchies
Q: How many pages do you have to read before you can tell if you'll enjoy a book?
Rebecca Price, Plaster Puller & Production Technician
Reba is the primary plaster puller in the studio -- making molds from molds so that ceramic babies can be born and baked. She began at Felt + Fat as part of the production team, and continues to fill in when hands are in need.
In addition, Reba works in a number of mediums that explore thoughts of information relay and inaccurate human perceptions through a self-interested and varyingly scientific lens. Reba received her BFA in Glass – Ceramics from Tyler School of Art and has developed an intense passion for being plagued by well roundedness.
Q: Would you rather have the ability to fly or to read other people's minds?
Jacob Raeder, Process Development Coordinator
Jacob is in charge of developing new studio production and operation processes to streamline and improve Felt+Fat's everyday efficiency. He is a master of materials and as such continues to develop innovative and thoughtful interventions that make the whole Studio critically reflect on how we make what we make.
Jacob's own Artwork wants to offer that people can rescue the experiences of pleasure and novel delight from the mere memory of our pre-adolescent inquisitiveness. He believes it takes the activity of radical and at times aggressive play coupled with a rigorous material experimentation to dismantle the cognitive barriers that inhibit creative possibility and the embracing of imagination.
Q: What was your first AOL IM screen name?