Inspiring Couple: Meghan Flynn & Jonathan Levitt

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Meghan Flynn and Jonathan Levitt live in a beautiful home in the woods in Lincolnville, Maine, where they live predominantly off of the earth. They tend vegetable, herb and flower gardens, collect mushrooms and berries from the surrounding forests and hills, fish for mackerel and squid, and dig for clams by the ocean. Their home is a gorgeous rustic structure, and our catalog team used their property to shoot parts of The Cabin short film and catalog, including shots of the gardens and surrounding forest. Our assistant art director has been friends with Meghan since childhood, and she introduced me to this incredible couple that we knew we had to feature here on the blog.

the garden

maine cabin noot seear

What was your involvement in our catalog shoot in Maine?

During their shoot in Maine, I prepared lunches and dinners for the FP crew. I hired my sister, Anna, as my assistant and together we cooked meals using ingredients from the local farmers’ markets, and pork from the pigs we raised! While we were busy cooking, the FP crew members were busy filming both the December catalog and a short film, which featured our home and surrounding forest in some of the shots.

noot-jacques-ronan-woods

Ronan in the snow

Is that your beautiful white dog pictured in the catalog? What is its name?

Yes, that’s Ronan!  Ronan is our 4-year-old husky/Korean Jindo mix.

blackberries

Baked beans with lingonberry preserves_handmade bowl

Baked beans with lingonberry preserves in a handmade bowl.

kiln fired ceramics

Tell me about your work as a ceramicist. What inspires you on a daily basis?

I am always inspired by the food we cook, the beauty of our surroundings here in Maine, and the rituals of daily life. All of my work is made by hand, using either hand-built techniques or the potters wheel.

My work is fired either in an electric or wood-fired kiln. Twice a year, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to fire my work in Jody Johnstone‘s wood-fired Anagama kiln, along with 3 local potters. The kiln holds over 800 pots, and takes 8 days to fire. Each of us is responsible for a 6-hour shift tending to the fire every day, which reaches over 2000 degrees fahrenheit. After the firing, the kiln cools for a week before we open its door and unload our wares. I am always eager to see the results. Every firing is different, but always rewarding. No two pots are ever exactly alike, as the flame, smoke, and melted ash create one-of-a-kind patterns and effects.

anagama kiln

Anagama kiln

I love making and using handmade cups, bowls, plates, and dishes as each piece tells a story. Just as homemade food evokes a soulful feeling, a handmade piece of pottery does the same. I believe that serving food and drink in vessels that have character and meaning adds so much to the overall experience and enjoyment of eating and drinking.

pappa al pomodoro_tomato and bread soup_handmade bowl

Pappa al pomodoro tomato and bread soup in a handmade bowl

You both have a passion for food, and food styling.  What drew you to this line of work?

Jon has worked as a food stylist, photographer, and writer for several years. His background is in food history and journalism, so for him it was a natural direction. I have worked in restaurants for many years, and with Jon doing recipe testing and food styling.

As artists working with food, we both love to perfect existing recipes as well as come up with our own inventions.

As for food styling, presentation is always important, not only for a photo, but for the experience of eating. It is a fun challenge to come up with the best way to present a dish, and it’s something that constantly informs my ceramic work.

pork soup_handmade bowl

Do you tend to eat mostly things that you grow and forage?

We try to eat as much food out of the garden, from the hills, forests and the sea as we can. It just tastes better, and grounds us in the place where we live.

the drying of the peppers

The drying of the peppers

ostrich fern (we eat the fiddleheads)

Ostrich fern

rose- chanterelle- blueberry

Rose, chanterelle, blueberry

Tell me about the mushrooms you collect.

Around here, we find Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Chicken of the Woods, Maitake, Matsutake, Hedgehog Mushrooms, and Bear’s Head. I think we both agree that Maitake (also known as Hen of the Woods), was our favorite mushroom this year.

Hedgehog mushroom (hydnum repandum)

maine-cabin-decor

How long have you lived in Maine?  What do you love most about it?

I have lived in Maine for most of my life. Jon has lived here for over 10 years. We both love the quietness, the bright stars, the ocean, and even the cold.

Ducktrap bridge

Ducktrap Bridge

the boiling of the sap to make maple syrup

The boiling of the sap to make maple syrup

What current projects are you working on that you’re most passionate about?

Jon and I are two of the founding members of Muwin Collective, a group of artists and designers working together on projects such as web design, illustration, photography, interiors, and publications. We have several projects in the works. I recently got accepted to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, where I will be pursuing further studies in ceramics, illustration, and design. I plan to attend in January, and think that being up in Halifax will be a great complement to our life here in Maine.

Meghan Flynn

Meghan Flynn

jon levitt

Jon Levitt

Thank you both for being such an inspiration! xo

To see what Meghan & Jon are up to, check out:

grassdoe.blogspot.com

jonathanlevitt.com

muwincollective.com

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Comments

Paperstarz -December 10, 2013, 10:39AM

What a beautiful way of life. <3 Absolutely beautiful and inspiring.

Annejelina -December 10, 2013, 10:50AM

Wow. I loved what she said here:
“We try to eat as much food out of the garden, from the hills, forests and the sea as we can. It just tastes better, and grounds us in the place where we live.”
So beautiful!! <3
xoxo Annejelina

Visit my shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrownofCreationShop

Elizabeth Stimson -December 10, 2013, 1:36PM

He was the photographer at my dad’s wedding John is an incredibly inspiring individual it was amazing having the chance to talk to him !

jessi -December 12, 2013, 1:15PM

such a beautiful couple!
can we have the recipe for the tomato/bread soup?! I had soup like that in Italy and the picture above looks so delicious

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