Three months after Linda Fahey lost her job in the corporate world, Anthropologie came calling asking her to create a range of ceramics for them. Up until then she had been juggling jobs and art-making on the side. “That project was very influential for subsequent decisions about the direction of my work,” Linda says. “It literally put me on an international scale and so much has come from that.” Linda has been working away at her art practice for more than 20 years. She was born in San Francisco in the US and raised in a small surf town called Pacifica, south of the city. After travelling, and living in San Francisco, Linda has returned to Pacifica where she has a studio and a shop, Yonder Shop. She continues to create wares for Anthropologie.
Which five words best describe you? Driven, curious, straightforward, motivating, dork.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I have an insatiable curiosity and like to do many things. Clay began with many years of tile-making for art installations large and small then in 2006 I met ceramic artist Sharon Virtue. I was one of many people that helped her with her residency project at the De Young Museum. We became friends, and I went on to work with her learning sculpture and throwing. Then I studied with Tiffany Schmierer and continued to make and sell work, do shows and build a distinct style. It's been a very unconventional, non-academic and more apprentice-based process around learning clay. My art background was drawing, graphic design and illustration and that has helped to develop my illustrated surface in clay.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? You have to love the hustle and to work hard - it's hard and deeply rewarding work.
What’s your proudest career achievement? So far, my relationship with Anthropologie and moving more toward designing.
What’s been your best decision? Opening up my studio and shop.
Who inspires you? Those creatives doing thoughtful, standout work - that thing that stands out because it's completely their thing and comes from so much of who they are.
What are you passionate about? Making things really well, supporting other makers, reading and ocean conservation.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? You know what they say about meeting your heroes... I have a long list of historic figures that I'd like to observe, maybe meet.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? Finding out what I'm still capable of achieving.
What are you reading? I like to read a few books at a time and I'm currently enjoying: Abstractions on paper by Richard Diebenkorn, Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town by Noah Coburn and re-reading Claire Tomalin's Samuel Pepys: The Unequaled Self.
images courtesy of linda fahey; portrait photography emma fineman