K. Allison Ceramics


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    Hi, I’m Kim! I’m a ceramic artist and instructor from Salem, MA. Even as a child, I’ve always had a tactile imagination that likes to freeze moments in time. I wonder what would it be like to wring water from a cloud like a sponge? To squeeze burned embers back together into a new form? To pluck a puddle from the ground and save its unique shape? This playful urge to capture nature in unnatural ways is something I constantly explore and have fun with in my ceramics work.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I work in porcelain and love to create both hand-built and wheel-thrown forms equally. I often make pieces inspired by airy clouds, raindrops, peeled bark, burned wood, and drippy water or sap. I absolutely love texture and carving clay with an X-Acto blade. Any textures you see on my work are hand-carved individually so that no two pieces are ever alike. I also use a limited palette of slips, underglazes, glazes, and most recently gold luster to create both functional and decorative works.

    A: I have always been drawn to pottery’s ability to convey visual and tactile experiences simultaneously. All too often, people approach ceramics with a “look but don’t touch” mentality that I try to combat in my work. What we see and what we feel when we interact with a piece are equally important. I try to use inviting textures, contrasts between glazed and unglazed surfaces, and more to create works that beg to be touched.

    A: I am obsessed with making every single pot entirely unique. I need each to have its own quirks and personality. If it has gold drips, I paint the drips individually so that they are designed for the shape of each specific pot. If it has texture, every mark is hand carved with an X-Acto knife. Some pieces have hundreds or thousands. I’m often asked why I don’t create texture mats or stamps to save time, but I can’t bring myself to do it because it would ruin the sense of individuality for me.

    A: A sense of wonder plays an enormous role in my work. Many of my pieces come from my childhood fantasies of being able to squeeze water from clouds, turn puddles to glass, or snatch raindrops from the air. Others are inspired by my current fascinations with stark white birch bark, or the way sap might look flowing from a blackened log as a burns. My lifelong fascination with the wonders of nature inspires me to bring a playful sense of permanence to concepts that are inherently impermanent.

    A: My approach to ceramics is Nordic inspired - minimalist but warm - which was my Swedish grandma’s style to a T. She was my biggest supporter as I fumbled through my early ceramics classes and gifted her my early wonky pots. While she never got to see the work I make now, I think of her as I pare my concepts to their simplest elements and try to leave just enough to evoke a subtle feeling or memory.

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