Kansas City, Missouri
- BFA: Printmaking at University of Oklahoma
- MFA: Ceramics at Penn State University
Full- or part-time potter:
Residencies (past and present):
- 2021 Artist in Residence, Currier Museum of Art
Clay Body: Aardvark Terra Red
Firing temperature: Cone 6
Surface treatment: Mishima
Forming Method: Handbuilding using tar-paper templates
Favorite tool/tools in your toolbox: Dolan flexible knife (DPT220), red and yellow Mudtools ribs, Xiem needle tool, Shimpo banding wheel, and my homemade scoring tools.
Describe your studio: My home studio is a converted sleeping porch, and aside from the lack of heat or AC, the treehouse-style views and wall-to-wall worktable make it a cozy space to make work. Behind my worktable is a handmade ware cart with adjustable shelves and a mostly organized shelf system for small ware boards, bisque molds, and my ever-growing recycled foam collection. Below my table are damp boxes and my trusty space heater, while the shelf along the window in front of me is littered with Polaroids of friends and family, organized jars of tools, test tiles, and pots for inspiration.
What is the best thing about your studio? Having my studio at home is easily the best thing about it. I burn the midnight oil often and it’s so nice to work until I’m bleary-eyed, then walk a quick 20 steps to my soft bed.
Describe a typical day or session in the studio: With my full-time job occupying my daylight hours, aside from the weekends, I usually don’t enter the studio until after my kids are in bed each evening. Once I cross that threshold, I typically assess any in-progress pieces and make moves as needed. I typically work in batches in my studio practice, determined by the clay I’m using.
Wish list for your studio? A ventilation system would be a dream, but I’d also take a pugmill and more storage.
Describe the first piece you made in clay that you thought had potential/felt like your own style: A body of work I called The Doily Series, that I worked on just after my oldest child was born. It was a set of 23 convex earthenware domes incised with fiber-inspired patterns. This work felt like the first cohesive ceramic series that successfully combined concept, material, and outcome, and it informed my decision to apply to graduate school to immersively study ceramics.
What are you inspired by? The people around me and the amazing things they make, traditional women’s work and craft, Agnes Martin’s textiles, evidence of resourcefulness through handmade objects, and the fascinating collections that people keep.
What is your process for finding/designing new forms? My forms are relatively uncomplicated, and I take inspiration from everything from the proportions of paper coffee cups to estate-sale treasures. Through sketching, I play with scale, decoration, imagined ease of function, and how forms may fit together on a table, a shelf, and in a home. When I’m testing a new form, I typically use the Three Bears approach and make pieces in 2–3 sizes to determine which one feels the best after firing.
What are some of your favorite pieces in your ceramics collection? From the Joanna Poag collage in my bathroom to the Roberto Lugo pitcher stuffed with flowers on my dining table, to the Kurt Anderson plate in my sewing room to the Emily Schroeder Willis mug on my kitchen shelf, there are so many beautiful objects to be inspired by and feel connected to.
Best advice you can give to other potters? Keep carving out space and time for yourself and your studio practice even if the slice feels smaller than you’d like.
To read more about Margaret Kinkeade’s forming process, take a look at the article Inspiration Rooted in Heirlooms.