The Monster Children office in LA is housed in the same building as Nate Kostechko’s tattoo studio, Nathan’s Lounge, and inside Nathan’s Lounge, there is a guy named Tom Jenkins.
Tom is an apprentice tattoo artist and a buddy of MC, and he’s got a side hustle making amazing ceramics. Today his webstore tomjenkinsmade.com opened, so I did a little Q&A with him to find out more, and also to see if I could get ceramic replicas of my turgid member put in his shop.
Tom, when and how did you start working with ceramics?
At college in 2009. I did it for 2 years. I just got back into it again in June.
Is it true you got back into it to meet girls after you saw that movie Ghost?
Never saw it. I probably should, though—this isn’t the first time it’s been brought to my attention. I always dreamt of being in Patrick Swayze’s arms.
How long did it take you to get good at ceramics?
After a full year, I did an independent study and I had full access to the studio. I’m still quite a novice, though. I’m always working to improve my skills.
I did a pottery course a couple of years ago and I found it awesomely calming. Do you find yourself going a bit Zen when you’re on the wheel, and do you think it’s kind of addictive?
Yeah, it’s quite addictive. If you’re not concentrating you can really mess it up, so you have to be present and focused. In a world where everything moves so fast, the constant need/want for the next best thing can be a bit overwhelming. Tuning out, putting the phone away, and trying to create something out of mud is definitely cathartic.
You launched the webstore today. For people too lazy to click through, what kinda stuff will be available there?
Planters, vases, vessels, bowls, catch-all trays for jewelry and keys and incense, bulb vases… Stuff that looks good on a shelf in your house or on a countertop. The next drop I do will have some more functional items: mugs, plate ware, dog bowls, colanders… Items you can use daily.
You also work at Nathan’s Lounge—how does that factor in with the ceramics?
Being a shop apprentice and focusing on my art in different mediums keeps the creativity flowing, and that seems important to me right now. I also think the practice of heading to the studio and putting in time—either early in the morning before I head to the shop or afterward—just keeps me in a solid state of mind to work toward bettering my skills. Whether it’s drawing flash, throwing pots, or painting, it helps me not burn out in one medium. I also plan on incorporating tattoo images into my pottery. All the practices seem to mirror each other and keep the fire alive for me.
Do you do commissions? I’d love a special urn for my cat, Huey, who was an absolute legend, but is now just a bag of ash and memories.
For you, Crom, anything. My condolences to Huey.
Thank you. He was radical.
Urns, among other items, would be great. I would love to do commissions. Hit me with any ideas I’m down!
Do you have plans to get into weed-related ceramic, or is that shit mad played out?
I have some catch-all trays that could also be used for rolling trays. I also have shallow bowls intended for piñon, palo santo, and or incense. They could be used to ash whatever you’re smoking also. I’m a bit more into nice homeware-type stuff that’s pretty to look at. The goal is to make nice stuff that has a calming effect and makes your environment feel good. Do you want me to make you a 311 bong? Amber is the color of your energy.
I have a million-dollar idea for you: ceramic dildos. Absolute cash cow. I could even provide the mold. Thoughts?
If I can help be an avenue for people’s pleasure—I back it. Although, I think I could conjure up a mold myself. I don’t want to be giving out false information… It’s called Tom Jenkins Made, after all.
True. What happens next for Tom Jenkins?
I want to expand my website into local stores and boutiques and start showing in some galleries. Continue to grow and work on my craft daily, learn from my peers at Nathan’s Lounge and at the ceramics studio. Just keep hustling. This is just the start for me, so I’m trying to just take it one day at a time and make every day better than the previous.
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