Kathy Erteman’s career started with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at California State University. It has since encompassed everything from collaborations with Tiffany and Dansk, to international exhibitions.
Her work straddles both fine art and design, and she has pieces at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “Even as a child, I was a maker of things, but what drew me to ceramics was really that you could form it in so many ways – that it was a great material to express ideas in three dimensions,” she says. Her work is inspired by the world around her, with nature, industry and architecture all providing food for thought.
“Right now, I’m working on the wheel with soft clay, and I’m making all the pieces myself,” says Kathy. “The exterior glazes have a lot of texture and character, and the interior is glossy and watertight, in contrast.”
The form of her Stupa vases, she believes, was inspired by time she spends working with artisan potters in south-west China, where a stupa is a monument for meditation. She soon saw the shape appear in her own work, as though emerging from her subconscious.
The vases look simple, but they are deceptively difficult to form.
“I have to be 100% mindful when I’m making them, to get the shape that I’m looking for.”
“My work has very simple lines, and it’s both modern and rustic. It’s tactile, calming, and I would say it’s open to interpretation.”Kathy Erteman