Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Miss Manhattan Hangs Out...with Raydene Salinas

There’s a clay pot resting on top of a cable box just outside of BKLYN Clay when I arrive as if it’s drying in the sun. It’s a hot-but-not-too-hot summery day, and I am happy to meet Raydene Salinas inside the cool (temperature and awesomeness-wise) clay studio where she is already working.

Most people get to have one life where they’re passionate about something they do, but Raydene is lucky: she has five. When she is not at the clay studio, she is a freelance photographer, Photo Editor at New York Magazine’s The Cut, the founder of the site Lady Guns Global which recognizes women's achievements around the world, and a certified yoga instructor. She also enjoys acro yoga and will later head to an acro yoga practice for an upcoming performance.

I met Raydene when I interviewed her about being a photo editor and it was a funny experience—within minutes I found myself speaking to her as if I had known her for years. She has a bubbly, welcoming aura that makes people feel at ease, whether they’re chatting at a Tribeca coffee shop or hanging out at a ceramics studio.

She just finished a little clay pot that's resting on a table in front of the pottery wheel where she sits. It will be a centerpiece for her upcoming wedding, and she has a few more to make before the big day. Today she will try for two more.

But first, a tour of the studio, a place she’s been coming to work on ceramics since the beginning of the year. Raydene tells me that for herself she tends to make items she specifically needs at home, like a juicer she recently finished. If not she worries her home will just fill up with ceramics because she loves working with clay so much. She has turned this passion into her own, newly-launched ceramics collection, sprig + arrow, for which she makes elegantly rustic yet modern mugs, bowls, plates, and more.

Downstairs, there are shelves upon shelves of ceramics made by studio members, Raydene included. I am terrified of swinging the wrong way and destroying everything. Luckily I don’t and everyone’s work stays intact. Raydene shows me more of her work, teeny pots and bowls in white and red and gray clay. Then we go upstairs, she ties up her beige apron printed with tiny horses and hits the wheel again, a bag of clay in front of her. She wets her hands and as if by magic forms gray lumps of clay into newer, slim, curved shapes and soon her hands, her legs, the apron, are covered in clay. She laughs and keeps spinning, making her way through a bag of four balls of clay before calling it a day.

To my untrained eye, everything is astounding because another human created something from nothing with their hands, but Raydene has higher standards. “Some days you only get one,” she says with a soft smile, packing up the clay.

Follow Raydene on Instagram and Twitter.
Follow Lady Guns Global on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.
Follow sprig + arrow on Instagram and Facebook

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mermaids V

As ever, some sights and scenes from the annual Mermaid Parade on Coney Island.