Limitless possibilities

I have been a fan of Lori Katz’s ceramic work for a number of years. She finds within the confines of a square ceramic tile infinite possibilities for creative expression and her singular approach never seems to get stale.

I am intrigued by contrast, the play of dark against light, the pull of empty space against the inclination to fill it up, placement of line and shape, the use of subtle texture…” says Lori. She finds inspiration in the fundamental building blocks of geometry, often playing with the dynamic tension between two- and three-dimensional elements.

Lori is not concerned with presenting a narrative, but rather with imprinting her mark-making on her canvas of choice – clay. Her work is constantly evolving and responding to her environment. “I have learned that in the end, process is never simple and good design is always balanced and strong.”

Current racial and political tensions have subtly inserted themselves into her work in the form of more muted colors and heightened surface texture.

Lori’s work brings to mind a line from Pat Conroy’s novel Beach Music: “No story is a straight line”. Similarly, no square tile is ever subject to conventional or predictable treatment in Lori’s hands – her motto is “no rules”. The works are striking on their own or as a grouping, large or small.

Recently, the artist has surprised herself by expanding beyond wall art to create a series of vessel forms with her unique mark-making.

Lori maintains a studio in Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory, although she is not there in person during the pandemic. Like most artists, her upcoming shows are all virtual. Details of her upcoming exhibitions can be found on her website.

BEFORE YOU GO, CHECK OUT MY RECENT PODCAST INTERVIEWS ON LA VIE CREATIVE AND CEREBRAL WOMEN ART TALKS PODCAST HERE.

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Nipple, panic button or sun hat…?

I have been playing around with random porcelain slab forms, creating shapes that please me but are in no way meant to be representational. I had in my mind the desire to see how much the brain makes up an incomplete¬†picture in order to make sense of what the eye sees. I threw some small ¬†‘nipple’ shapes on the wheel and then attached them in a crude way to my porcelain slab forms. What appeared to me was an instant torso, with a questionable gender because the nipples are so erect and defined, whereas the female breast is absent.

Nipple forms detailNipple form detail

Two nipple forms
Two nipple forms

Nonetheless, I was reminded yet again about the subjectivity of art – a fellow ceramicist (won’t mention any names…) asked me as I was attaching the clay nipples to the forms, whether they were panic buttons or sun hats. I am not kidding – he really did not see what I saw. So much for the brain making up its own story….What do you see??