Teaching Artist Spotlight: Lauren Karle

NCC is excited to welcome teaching artist Lauren Karle to the NCC community! Karle spent the last five years living on a national wildlife refuge with a herd of bison in rural New Mexico. For the last two years, she taught Art and Design in Santa Fe. Karle is “thrilled to be back in civilization, ready to meet people, and make a life!” We are so glad she decided to make her life here in Minnesota. 

Employing a series of slips, underglazes, and stain washes to obtain a vibrant color palette, Karle develops the surface of each piece through a combination of brush, stencil, and slip-transfer techniques. Read on to learn more about her teaching approach.

NCC: What is your favorite thing about teaching?
LK: My favorite thing about teaching is watching my students grow as artists and human beings through the process of discovery.

NCC: What do you think is the most fundamental skill set for success in ceramics?
LK: Your mindset. I love being an artist when I approach my studio with the mindset of an adventure and "play." Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of hard work, but exploring and discovering new ideas and possibilities keeps it exciting. I will work for the rest of my life and never get bored or run out of ideas.

NCC: Tell us about a memorable moment from the classroom.
I taught 9th and 10th grade art in New Mexico. It took me awhile to get clay in the classroom as the previous teacher was very 2D oriented. I had students that thrived in 2D and others who compared themselves and did not visually feel as successful. When we started clay, some of the weaker 2D students just understood clay and shocked themselves with what they could make. It was empowering to them to work with their hands and feel successful. All materials are important and they feed each other - clay is an important part of any student’s artistic development and it was very evident.

Join Lauren Karle this fall for the workshop Developing Design: A Layered Approach, Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6. Register here.