My work in ceramics flows from a rich history of communicating social issues via the ceramic object. From the widely studied black and red vessels of Ancient Greece, to the contemporary Yixing teapots created by Richard Notkin, clay has long been used to relate to and comment on the modern-day political climate. Quite often, however, this work resides distinctly outside of the everyday, removed from contemplative moments while we sip our coffee or share a meal. I design my work, on the other hand, to reside squarely in this realm of daily existence, bringing subtle awareness to our often mundane and routine rituals.
The work of imbuing ceramic objects with a political message in a palatable format remains an intriguing and challenging aspect of my studio practice. Sarah Archer states in “Kitchen Table Politics,” “People buy things for their homes that communicate to visitors and reinforce a self image they hold or want to hold. An object…will be used, admired and shared with guests to spark conversation.” Through the general comfort with and widespread understanding of the essence of hand formed pottery, I find an unassuming vehicle to present larger, sometimes unpleasant issues. And with a careful partnering of contemporary imagery with warm, inviting form this work serves as a reminder to slow down, reflect on and consider the interwoven nature of our lifestyle choices and the broader world around us.
Kip O’Krongly is a functional ceramic artist working with highly decorated earthenware. Her childhood in Alaska has greatly influenced her current interest in exploring issues of agriculture, energy and transportation through daily use ceramics. She has worked at Northern Clay Center as the 2011 – 2012 Anonymous Potter resident artist, the Material Technician and the 2009 - 2010 Fogelberg resident and was recently awarded a 2014 McKnight Ceramic Artist Fellowship. She exhibits work in galleries across the country, including 18 Hands in Houston, TX, and was featured in the 2012 American Pottery Festival at Northern Clay Center.
Kip was awarded Best In Show at the 2011 Strictly Functional exhibition, was the cover artist in the May/June 2012 issue of Pottery Making Illustrated, a presenter at the 2012 Utilitarian Clay Conference and will be featured in 500 Prints on Clay by Lark Books.