Dec 18, 2009
Last night I was reading my RSS feeds and I stumbled across a fantastic image of a porcelain sculpture of a rabbit with a human skeleton, I was simply amazed by the level of details and movement of that piece. So I decided to check out more about the artist behind that. Her name is Kate D. MacDowell, she's from the US and she taught English to high school students and produced websites for hi-tech companies as well.
For more information and to see more sculptures from Kate, I highly recommend that you visit her website (http://www.katemacdowell.com/). There's also a great interview with her: “6 + 1 Interview: Kate D. MacDowell”.
I’ve lived and worked in many different environments and cultures that have influenced the way I perceive the world, and therefore my pieces. These experiences have ranged from teaching in urban high schools and producing websites in the high-tech corporate environment, to volunteering at a meditation retreat center in rural India a few hours outside of the fever pitch of Bombay. I’ve also collected visual imagery and ideas from my travels through Renaissance Italy, Classical and Minoan Greece, Nepal and Thailand.
romulus and remus
Romulus and Remus, 18 ½"x12"x7", handbuilt porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 11/2009
Pinkies, 4 ½"x3 ½"x3 ½" (each incubator), 14 ½"x3 ½"x3 ½" (three in a row), handbuilt porcelain, mason stains, oil paints, plexiglass, 9/2009
a billion heartbeats
A Billion Heartbeats, 5"x5"x1 ½", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 9/2009
Migrant, 16"x20"x6 ½" assembled, hand built porcelain, 9/2009
Taking Root, 4 ½"x4"x½", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 3/2009
Invasive Flora, 16”x17“x8”, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 3/2009
Serpentine, 6 ½"x5 ½"x6", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 9/2009
Upon returning to the United States in 2004, after a year and a half working overseas, I began to study ceramics full-time at the ArtCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina and later at Portland Community College's Cascade campus and the Oregon College of Art and Craft's community education program. I am currently a member of the Oregon Potters Association. I have also studied flame-worked glass at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and participated in an artist residency at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts in Maine.
mice and men
Mice and Men, 2 ½"x3"x1 ½", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 3/2009
Canary 3, 13 ½"x12 ½"x6", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 2/2009
Communicable, 20“x15 ½ “x5 ½ “, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 7/2008
Casualty, 15"x9"x3", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 2/2009
Sparrow, 7"x6 ½"x2", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 7/2008
Daphne, 53”x17”x40”, hand built porcelain, 12/2007
Canary, 22“x22“x5“, hand built porcelain, wooden wall pedestal, compact fluorescent lights, wiring, 9/2008
Breaking, 6"x3 ½"x2", hand built porcelain, resin, 7/2008
Lure, 14”x14”x10 ¼ “, hand built and thrown porcelain, cone 6 glazes, incandescent lights, wiring, 8/2006
I hand sculpt each piece out of porcelain, often building a solid form and then hollowing it out. Smaller forms are built petal by petal, branch by branch and allow me the chance to get immersed in close study of the structure of a blossom or a bee. I chose porcelain for its luminous and ghostly qualities as well as its strength and ability to show fine texture. It highlights both the impermanence and fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value. I see each piece as a captured and preserved specimen, a painstaking record of endangered natural forms and a commentary on our own culpability.
Venus, 9”x14”x9”, hand built porcelain, cone 6 glazes, acrylic gel, halogen light, wiring, 12/2006
Icarus, 13"x12"x3 ½", hand built porcelain, cone 6 glaze, 6/2007