Last night, Housing Works had the kickoff to its Design on a Dime benefit at Chelsea’s Metropolitan Pavilion, where you can go tomorrow afternoon and buy art and furnishings right out of these endless room “vignettes” that are put together by top interior designers. Parker Posey was not only the celebrity host, but also one of the artists: Somewhere among the many vignettes, there was a piece of art she had collaborated on with her new boyfriend, the artist Scott Lenhardt. Vulture talked to her about the exhibit and the overtly sexual process of making pottery (cue “Unchained Melody”).
For the past several years, Posey has really been into “throwing,” which, she explained, is the proper word for making pottery on a wheel, and now she is co-throwing with Lenhardt. So she told us about it. “Pottery has all sorts of metaphors, mostly sexual,” she explained. “I don’t like to trim. I like throwing, mostly. I like being on the wheel. So I do what’s called ‘throwing off the hump.’ You get a big piece of clay and you put it in the center of the wheel and center it … I started making these little votive pieces … then I would paint these little guys and put them in a vignette in a lighted area and it would cast a shadow on the wall.”
Did she feel good while throwing?
“It’s like being in the flow,” she said. “My teacher, Manusha, said I had a kind of controlled chaos. And that’s where Scott comes into the picture. He’s a visual artist.” We know, we said, and his stuff was really cool, but a bit creepy, too, right? “Um — no,” she said. “Some of the potters at the studio say [of her and Lenhardt’s collaborative pieces], ‘Those look possessed,’ and that’s a good thing. We make some little altars — I was raised Catholic — called ‘altar egos.’ But they have a face on them and a handle at the bottom, like a ball. He sculpts the face. He’s very talented. I don’t think they’re as creepy as foreboding, that is, a foreboding kind of innocence. Almost like they’re warnings, you know?”
We didn’t really, not having them to look at, but we were happy to hear that Posey said being in a relationship and being creative within that relationship was an amazing feeling. We said it sounded like throwing had really helped her achieve a certain peace.
“Yes,” she agreed. “It is the same place a yogi, you know, would go to. It is a focus and a letting go at the same time. That’s what the experience of throwing is. Don’t make me sound like a crazy deranged person.”