Location | Maidstone, Kent, England

 Email | katiesmartceramics@hotmail.com

Artist Statement

Within my practice I am drawn in particular to glazing where control and contingency are intrinsic to the medium; characteristic results produced in the high temperatures of the kiln release colour to form, imbuing works with a whole new lease of life and an array of diverse outcomes. Other techniques like slip casting enable me to explore modes of production; multiples are endowed within the nature of the medium itself and when controlled can form fascinating results. 

Critical reflection and interpretation of results encourages and motivates me to seek new forms of inspiration which arises from a multitude of locations, social and cultural contexts surrounding me. Over the last year I have come to realise that the core of my practice revolves around two key themes; imperfect beauty and accidental intentions.

 

The theme imperfect beauty is stimulated by the Japanese aesthetic ‘wabi sabi’, which Andrew Juniper terms, ’coaxing beauty out of ugliness’ (Juniper, 2003). Juniper’s concepts have changed my outlook and the way I perceive beauty; strongly influencing the aesthetic of my practice.

An innate balance between the accidental and conversely the intentional, relates closely to my working procedure which alternates between happy accidents and the cognitive processes of deliberation or ‘crafting’. In this context the failures of the kiln or the unresolved designs are seen as productive. Indeed, as Thomas Bezanson states; “Failures are the seeds of discovery” (Bezanson, 2013)

Craftsmanship entwined with the making experience is vital, by working with materials first hand, I gain immeasurable knowledge, experience and pleasure. Also becoming more conscious of the distinctions between the craftsman and their tools – The reproduction of designs through slip casting is a joyful addition to the working process although ultimate control can only stem from the actions of me as a maker and the sovereignty within my hands.

 

The progression of crafting and investigating the versatility of the ceramic medium is by far my preferred part within my practice. However, not only do I want to make aesthetically pleasing works, they must have some sort of function, a connection to the body, whether it’s worn or perhaps interacted with in some way. It is challenging yet stimulating to make wearable objects with ceramics, as it’s very fragile. Nevertheless, I like to take on the challenge to see what can be accomplished.

 

My eventual goal is to be able to form a bridge between that which drives and inspires me and the resultant studio works – I regard this as an on-going dialogue with a great deal of potential to enable and inspire future projects.