Kate Tremel

Kate Tremel

Whether working in mixed media sculpture forming the clay around plaster casts of my body or piercing the thin walls of a functional porcelain vessel, my work has always been linked to the idea of the vessel or containment. The vessel is as primordial a form as is the need to make. The body metaphor is present on many levels from the breath or volume that I slowly give the form as I pound the stiff clay between my paddle and rock to the burnished skin like surface that the clay takes on as I work the piece. Working with clay is not really a choice for me, but more of a compulsion. Its tactile qualities are seductive. Getting dirty is important.


I am using a pre-Colombian technique that I learned as an anthropology student in Peru. I have always liked the connection to the history of makers that ceramics affords. Making pottery is a democratic endeavor. Pots are accessible. They create connections for me as they become part of the fabric of people\\\'s lives. I am interested in creating forms that seek to be caressed and used whether its raising the cup to one\\\'s lips, arranging flowers in a vase or sharing espresso with a friend. My fascination with forms in nature and everyday pots provides the inspiration for a quiet meditation on the beauty in simple things.


Attempting to deconstruct the thin walls of the clay in its most fragile state is for me, a metaphor for life’s work. I’m trying to capture that fleeting moment of beauty before the piece crumbles in my hands and preserve it even if just for a time, in a slightly less vulnerable fired state. The essence of this beauty is its tenuousness, like the flower, glorious, yet shadowed by the knowledge of its eventual death.

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Kate Tremel