We're stoked to introduce you to Kenni Field, an innovative ceramist and creator of our new orb pipe (ogle it here)! We recently caught up with them to hear more about their creative journey, LGBTQIA+ representation in the cannabis space, and more.
Let's dive in!
Hey, Kenni! What's your story?
I grew up as a pretty scrappy kid; very active outdoors, but also, somehow really prolific with pencil sketches on copy paper. I’ve always sort of been making art with repurposed materials, stealing copy paper, protractors and pencils from my dad. Somewhere throughout the years, I got a few watercolor sets and technical drawing books as well. I'm so very lucky to have shared real intense love and joy for art making with two of my aunts throughout my life. My aunt Marie showed me that it was wonderful to dance and giggle in the rain, while our paints and paper got wet, and Anita led me lovingly to clay and saw me through the first years of my practice. I don’t have an art degree. I’m mostly self-taught.
What inspired you to get into the cannabis space?
I was inspired to make smoking pipes in my senior year of college. I was taking a couple ceramics electives and was being taught to make teapots and tableware.
The whole experience was pretty alienating racially, culturally, and creatively, but pipes were something that I and a lot of my friends actually needed and would pay for.
I was studying cultural analysis at the time, and finding myself creatively. I fell in love with the idea of the pipe as a ritual accoutrement, and wanted to elevate it aesthetically from headshop glass pieces that scream “paraphernalia”, towards a conversation starter—I really wanted to create something that would foster imagination and positive dialog about smoking weed. After school, I wanted to pursue ceramics full-time, and this felt like a way to design interactions and material culture for a world where cannabis is acceptable and celebrated.
How would you describe your relationship with the plant?
My relationship with weed is mostly a love-love sort of thing. It's been such a wellspring of creative flow and healing for me. A lot of artists will say that cannabis helps them be more creative, and yes, I’m totally on that bandwagon. But, I really want folks to take this to heart: we're all creative beings, and the drive to imagine and shape the world around us is continually attacked and hemmed in by cultural norms and structures of power. I’ve struggled so much with shame and self-doubt throughout my practice, which comes, in large part, from living in a society sick on white supremacy and racial capitalism. Getting high somehow turns off those internalized critical and repressive voices in my head that block me from playing and connecting with art-making in intuitive ways.
As a non-binary creative in the cannabis space, what are your thoughts on the critical lack of LGBTQIA+ representation?
I think the representation discussion often doesn’t adequately address how intersectional identity reflects vastly different barriers to entry, success, and wellbeing between. For example, a Black trans woman and a gay cis white man.
I don’t want the cannabis space to be hostile or exclusionary, obviously, but I guess I feel that the conversation about representation needs to also be a conversation about dismantling white-heteropatriarchy and racial capitalism.
Legalization and regulation where I live are shaping out to reproduce a lot of the same evils of racial capitalism, and it feels reductive and harmful to just wish more Black and Brown queers were a part of that. What makes sense to me is shaping regulation around what allows people to operate with autonomy and dignity, at smaller scales, as much as possible without compromising public health.