This article originally appeared on VICE US
Noted purse enthusiast Seth Rogen has embraced a new hobby of late, and no, it's not weed (although yes, he did launch a cannabis brand this spring, thank you for asking.) Rogen's latest flight of fancy is every whimsical Park Slope mom's favorite form of stress release; ceramics.
Rogen confessed the details of his newfound obsession to GQ last month, saying, “There's something that's so therapeutic about it. It's like yoga, if you got a thing at the end. If you were doing yoga and then some object was produced at the end of it.” Twitter has dunked on Rogen's attempts, prompting a sad reply from the man himself, but let's take a look at some of his work with a panel of actual ceramicists, shall we?
"These pots are as good as any beginner's, and I don't mean that as a dig!" exclaims Stephanie H. Shih, whose porcelain dumplings and sculpted groceries explore Asian-American nostalgia. "I love seeing the evolution of his ashtray idea as he experiments mixing wheel-thrown and hand-built techniques."
"These are very clearly a first attempt," agrees Kate Lindsay, a writer who studies ceramics at Gasworks and sells her wares at Issue 00. "The rightmost ashtrays have uneven rims, suggesting the clay was not properly centered on the wheel. He's had trouble maintaining a matching structure for all of them (which is hard!) and keeping even pressure as he pulls up on the clay. The ones on the very left, however, appear to be hand-built, judging by their creases, and actually look nice! The two in the back are beyond hope, but the fact that he followed through all the way through glazing says something about his character that I think is nice."
"Please picture Seth Rogen putting those flowers into each individual vase to set up for this photo. Thanks," Lindsay requests. "Anyways, as for the vases themselves, these are thrown on a wheel. I like that he experimented with a bunch of different shapes and also textures! These probably were all thrown across two different sessions, and some are obviously better than others just in terms of aesthetics and personal preference, but I like that he's being playful."
"The vases look a bit heavy, but they have a very hand-done, organic feel that's on-trend right now," says Linda Bui, a product and operations manager at Glossier who curates flowers in handmade, one-of-a-kind ceramics.
"Before I even get to the ceramics themselves, I do want to commend Seth on finally nailing the Instagram aesthetic that's absolutely necessary for all budding potters if they even want to DREAM of making it in this town. White background, elegant greenery, nice light — chef's kiss!" raves Lindsay. "He's genuinely improved his throwing as well. He's avoided those previous telltale rookie mistakes by giving both the vase and the ashtray even, flat rims, and even combined wheel and hand-building techniques to make that little blunt-rest. He freaked it!"
"This post looks a little more honed, and his technique has improved," agrees Bui, adding, "I would totally buy them, because it looks like someone really enjoyed the process."
The deciding factor in Rogen's amateur ceramics prowess came from Shih, who relayed some third-hand gossip that Rogen "was a very nice student and left a good tip for a private lesson teacher." We love to see it! Anyone can throw a pot (except me, as I learned on my one failed ceramics expedition), but it takes a true mensch to respect the ceramics community. Keep creating, Seth!