Artist, sculptor, jewelry designer, surfer, motorcycle enthusiast and over-all badass is one of the modern day makers that blows my mind. Some artists blow one's mind on a larger scale and this maker leaves a lasting impression with his precision and minute detail. Meet Nicholas Potash, today's Man Maker. When it comes to skill, Nick nails it. I've obsessively awed at his lighters, diamond encrusted pendants and scrimshaw necklaces in length. It's easy for one to covet his work and collect it. "Bespoke" and "Heirloom" are the most accurate word for his creations. From the first introduction, I knew there would be a lineage associated with his art, from generation to generation adoring the adornments. His work has been a staple of some of the most respected off the beaten path jewelry stores out there including Fiat Lux in San Francisco , Esqueleto in Oakland and Love Adorned in New York. I also spied his name linked to an article in Forbes Magazine, well done Nick. I'm thrilled that this old world style of craftsmanship and artistry is still present today, meeting the needs of rough riders on motorcycles and jewelry connoisseurs alike. Below is his interview.
What is your brand/name:
Nick Potash, I've been using the moniker Bad Weather to make art since 2009.
What is your heritage:
My dad's family is from Queens, NY via Austria/Poland, my mom's side is from La Jolla, CA via Japan. Both sides immigrated to the US in the 1800's
What are 3 reference points of inspiration for your work:
Every previous generation of craftsmen, I look to them for guidance and try my hardest to carry on old traditions and keep the torch of knowledge lit in my little corner or the world. Firearms engravers of Europe, sword fitting masters of Japan, my mother and father's commitment to handmade craft and simple living.
What are 3 skills you've learned in representing yourself as an artist:
- Don't compare yourself to others,
- Always try to feel that "If I die tomorrow I'll be happy with my work", this guiding philosophy makes sure that everything leaving my hands has passed my scrutiny....
- The last cliche "Be your harshest critic and your greatest advocate"
What are 3 skills you believe are a necessity to be an independent artist/designer?
Work ethic, peace in solitude, one is never done learning
What moved you to make with your hands:
They are me, the only thing I can count on, they pack up easy and I can take them with me wherever I go :) I try to do all I can to limit my interactions with my computer.
If you could travel anywhere today, where would you travel and why:
New Zealand, for the pristine nature, the green, the abundance of natural resources, to live how my grandparents lived, off the land and sea, I think is still possible there. I don't like crowds and I love eating lamb haha... and there are good waves, I've lived near the ocean all my life but it's hard to find someplace coastal with beauty and surf and have it be unspoiled by new money and consumerism.
3 Favorite songs at the moment:
- The swimming song - Loudon Wainwright
- 4am at Toumani's - Mali Music
- Blue elvis - Peals
- Apollo's Mood - The Olympians.... there are a bunch, but those are some I've come across recently, mellow stuff these days
What advice would you offer your fellow female makers? What business advice?
Hmmmmm..... Believe in yourself and get to work, I think a woman who knows how to use her hands and has skills to boot is a truly beautiful thing, always has been and seems to be a trait that is losing traction in lots of demographics. please keep it alive. Set yourself apart with your work, its a long, hard, self motivated road to proficiency but once you're there its queen of the castle rule and you will be admired and sought after. Let the work speak first.
What advice would your 65 year old self to you today?
What change would you most like to see in the world?
A self reflective halt to "progress" ...before we take another step we should evaluate if we are heading in the right direction.
Any additional thoughts on the importance of artisanal/handmade goods in a fast pace Western World?
For me it just comes down to doing what I love and using my hands and learning, learning always, learning about the old ways and the exciting nail biting stressful beautiful things that come from that pursuit, failures and all. Beyond that is the fact that the modern world thinks little about how and where the things they consume come from, if you can contribute at all to combating that blind consumerism that is tremendous and if we all tried to do that this would be a much different world. Less disposable more bespoke. :)
Post Script, these are his watch bands. What artistry is sculpted into a tool that tells time by a man that takes his time bringing forth his craft!
Find Nick on IG: @Thebadweather