“Somebody recently called my work ‘eye candy’ and I find that liberating….Why not create a visual crescendo?!”
Two years ago, Kate Maury was making cups and bowls out of highfire porcelain. Then, at the age of 47, she got to the point where she wanted to “toss pre-conceived notions and habits to the wind. I grew up near the Dickeyville Grotto and recently, when I was traveling throughout India, I realized how strongly I was drawn to embellishment and visual celebration. I realized this kind of work makes the most sense to me.” Serendipitously, casting slip, molds, and other materials became accessible upon Maury’s return to her studio. She started making assemblages. Her current body of work in the Locals We Love show at NCC is an entirely new pursuit.
“My education is rooted in strong forms. As an under-grad at KCAI, Victor Babu encouraged us to make the form and release it—don’t carve it, or put lines in it. However, since the early 90s, I have been watching artists like Julia Galloway, Kristen Kieffer, and Ursula Hargens; they have brought to my attention the importance of mark making on the pot. I have also traveled extensively throughout China and India, collecting tribal and commercial textiles. These richly embroidered surfaces are a catalyst for what I am making now. Two-dimensional motifs have become three-dimensional, freestanding, hand-built forms.” “It is still important to me that my work is functional. Making functional, but also highly decorative ‘celebratory’ work is a dynamic challenge. I’m really happy with where the work is taking me, the conversations it has prompted.”
Kate Maury is a studio artist at Northern Clay Center and a ceramic teacher at the University of Wisconsin–Stout. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1990 with her BFA; she then earned an MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1992. She has had multiple residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation and the Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in China.