Julia Sherman: Graham, do you eat according to the principles of Chinese medicine?
Graham: Yes, we eat mostly hot food and very little cold food.
JS: My acupuncturist is always like “No more salad! you need to eat more sweet potatoes.” But I built my whole career around salad…
Graham: Let me see your tongue.
JS: Am I dying? What?
Graham: No. It doesn’t look as cold as I thought it would.
JS: Arley and Anabeth, do you guys just get acupuncture every week?
Annabeth: Yes, we are Dad’s test dummies.
JS: Oh my god that is like my dream. Meghan, you just finished a book. What is your book about?
Megan: It’s a collection of stories and a novella about people who are are stuck. In each case, an animal comes along and reveals another perspective that allows them to move out of the stuck place. It’s called The Exit Coach.
JS: So what brought you write a book on that topic?
Meghan: Well, I was writing about being an older woman because it’s very challenging in our culture. Then I realized, there is another theme, all the characters in the book happen to be stuck. So it was solely after the fact that I could see that there was this other theme. It was all there though.
JS: Did you guys grow up in this apartment?
Annabeth: No, we grew up in the boonies in Alfred, NY. Brooklyn is a big, big change. We had to drive an hour and a half to go see a movie, but then again, we had a sauna and a massive vegetables garden. When they first moved here you would open up these cabinets and they would just be filled with piles of vegetables grown upstate.
JS: What made you move to the city?
Megan: Well, lots of reasons that all kind of came together at one time. We wanted to be in a city, we were tired of long drives to do anything. We kind of went in the opposite direction that anyone else wants to go, moving from a farm into the city.
JS: Graham, Arley showed me all your ceramics and told me about your recent show at Andrea Rosen. It’s amazing.
Graham: Oh, it was fantastic. I had stopped making sculpture a long time ago, and then a younger artist named Matthew Ronay was curating the show and he just kind of quoted me as an influence. So Andrea Rosen just said “Great. Let’s do a show with Graham.”
JS: Where has the work been for the last 30 years?
Graham: The sculptures were just sitting outdoors at our house upstate, there was a family of snakes living in one of them! We covered them with plastic and bungee cords for the winter. But otherwise yes, just outside.
JS: But you have a legacy of ceramics in this family. Starting with Megan’s father, correct?
Arley: Yes, there is a big show up of my grandfather’s work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until April.
Arley: [Arley picks up a jar] What’s this mom?
Meghan: That’s my sourdough starter.
JS: You make bread?
Megan: I do!
JS: And Graham, what are you working on over there [Graham pulls a mysterious glass jar from the fridge]?
Graham: So you know when you go to a Japanese restaurant and you get the yellow pickled daikon? This has been sitting for months. The yellow color comes from crushed, dried gardenia flowers.
Arley: Dad, can I get some of those flowers?
Graham: Oh yes, they would work well in cocktails.
JS: Arley, how is Honey’s different than other bars?
Arley: Honey’s is a little bit different from a regular bar in that we are making a good portion of the ingredients that go into the drinks ourselves. Between our the plants on our rooftop garden and the mead we make, we are developing a fully integrated system to fuel the bar. Raphael and I have been focused on producing mead that works well as a cocktail ingredient more than a stand alone wine, and that is pretty unique. If you come to Honey’s and you love a drink we serve, you can buy a bottle to take home and add it to your own bar.
JS: Do you still make art, in the studio sense of the word?
Arley: When I started the build-out of the bar, I packed up my studio and decided to focus on Honey’s. Now it feels like a long term performative sculpture experiment. Honey’s is my studio now.