Martha Rehkamp Ceramics

Martha Rehkamp Ceramics

About The Artist

Martha Rehkamp • Minneapolis, MN

My work as a ceramic artist is an examination of life’s impermanence. Fading ceramic flowers are composed into still life bouquets and assemblages, juxtaposing formality with organic fragility. While colors are muted and have lost their vibrancy, the work invites closer examination and hints at the beauty still within. I use the garden metaphor as a sly way to assert that aging is not to be feared. The fading plants show the grace and resilience of aging forms and their inherent beauty.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

I primarily use stoneware porcelain because I love the white background to lay my delicate colors on. I am a hand builder using slab techniques and tools I fashion myself - anything that will help me create forms that imitate nature. My goal is not to copy nature, but to leave something to my viewers imagination. I gather plant material from my garden and add dried, pressed, or painted elements to many of my pieces as a nod to the resilience of dried plant life.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

No other medium can create the subtle variations in plant life like clay. It is the thrill of experimentation that I love about clay and the view of the life cycles of my garden that provide the constant source of inspiration. To quote Marc Hammer, “Spring Rain: A Life Lived in Gardens” - “As a gardener, you are very much aware that your existence is for a very short period of time, and that you are just like the plants are, rising and blooming and then fading.”

What is something unique about you or your practice?

My incorporation of actual plant material - dried, pressed, and even painted- into many of my pieces is subtle and unexpected. It causes the viewer to wonder what is real and what is clay. My goal is to subtly challenge the viewers perception about the fragility of life, but also our own resilience as we age.