Love for ceramic

Karen Dawn Curtis discovered her love for ceramics when she was in her primary school. The first piece of pottery she made was a grow pot. “I did ceramics in my A-levels. I realized I wanted to do a Degree in Art and I fell in love with it”.

For her, ceramics is like a medium that connects to her. She explains especially the technical process of it, intrigued her during her school years.”I thought I would get into textile and but it was not 3D enough for me. But with clay, I get to make sculptures with texture. I also fell in love with the process of it. You make it, fire and glaze it. I loved the whole technical process”.

Karen has produced aesthetic art pieces for many years but has recently rediscovered throwing and become struck by the unique appeal of ceramics as functional art.

She is inspired by the natural landscape of Brecon Beacons in Wales and wants to create different type collections to explore the point where beauty and practical purpose meet in her artwork.

“​I have always been inspired by landscape such as the texture, the colours, the natural hues, texture of surfaces such as the grass, rocks and sands and incorporate them in my pottery work”.

The interior surfaces of the functional pieces are glazed to ensure that they are food safe. In developing these glazes I have discovered a rich palette of colours which are reminiscent of Wales itself.  It is her hope that this work is an art which will be touched, used and treasured.

“The naked surface of clay fascinates me. I add oxides to the clay body to create the exterior colours without having to mask the natural texture of the material. But I use glaze on the inside to make it functional”.

Talking about the difference between ceramics and pottery Karen explains, “if you are ceramicist you make your own where you focus on sculptures side of things and while for pottery makers are more like a craft hobby”.

She currently has 6 collections under her ceramic studio – Home collection, Yellow and Blue collection, Black and Blue collection, Blue and Flecked collection, Cry collection and Color variations.

Karen turned her passion for ceramics into her career.  “Bernard Howell Leach brought in the pottery to the UK in the 1920s. But then again in the last 5 to 6 years, more and more people are getting involved in ceramic making. So more people are interested in taking up night-classes”.

All her sessions are run with the knowledge that throwing is a motor skill that anyone can learn. The teaching will be tailored to the individual learner’s needs, ” I have created a fun and relaxing lesson while you develop the skills you want. I help develop the basic motor skills needed to throw simple forms on the potter’s wheel”, she added.

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