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Kara Artman,
Bluffton, South Carolina



Artist Statement:
My work explores an untraditional approach to traditional materials and techniques often utilizing historic artifacts as well as modern post-consumer products as the primary source materials.

Studio Description:
My studio is also my home, contemplation, drawing, storage, and office space are all arranged under one roof. Splitting the open floor plan into a 1/3 “house” 2/3 studio, I’m also lucky enough to have a yard so all ceramic production is done outside.

What type of clay do you use?
Porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware, using the most appropriate clay for each given project.

What temperature do you fire to?
I fire everything to cone 6 with commercially manufactured glazes.

What is your primary forming method?
Slip casting and slab hand building.

What is your favorite surface treatment?
Carved and impressed designs on my slab work and smooth crisp lettering and images on my cast work.

Do you make any of your own tools?
My partner is a wood worker and has custom built cottles for my molding. Unlike regular cottles these split in half, allowing me access along the seam line. I also have a 5 gal bucket, fitted with a tap for gravity feeding molds.

What one word would you use to describe your work?

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
My new banding wheel, its just so smooth.

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
My kiln, without it I would be very limited in my ability to produce (well complete) ceramic work.

What are your top three studio wishes?
A permanent space to create this would allow me to work unfettered, by having to setup and tear down my studio a pug mil and slop sink with hot water.

What’s on your current reading list?
Interview with Ruth Duckworth, 2001 April 27. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Having a reclaim bucket for each clay body, and using the “waste” clay for mold making.

How do you recharge creatively?
Traveling across America, exploring cities, our national parks and forest, and mudlarking my local waterways.

Do you have any DIY tips for studio efficiency?
Designated tools labeled for each task ie: plaster tools for mold making, slip casting and hand building tools all in their own containers.

What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
Documenting, writing, maintaining a website, applying to shows, as well a selling my wares are challenges, that I work to overcome.

What did you first piece look like?
My first clay piece, was a kindergarten pinch pot. My mother still has it, it is a palm sized, wonky bowl painted with red and blue kids paint.

What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
The ability to glaze with my mind. Blink and boom finished exactly how I envisioned.

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
I make art with adults with special needs, they are my mentors, reminding me of the magic of making.

What is your studio playlist?
Science fiction audio books, NPR, or music I can sing too.

Why do you create art?
I create art because it is me. Art is not a means to an end, art is how I interact with the world it is the end. Without art we would all be lost.

What is your best studio tip?
Always keep a clean studio but never forget to enjoy what you are doing. Often joy gets lost when your art becomes your financial means.

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
Silicosis 🙁