Nuclear Cake Stand with Canary Cover, 26 in. (66 cm) in height, coil-built earthenware, with slips, underglaze, hand-cut stencils, terra sigillata, and nickel silver wire, fired to cone 04 in oxidation, 2010.

CM: Because you combine very specific narrative on functional forms, how important to you is the function of your work—or that people use it?

 

KO: My ceramic work revolves around spurring conversation and communication; functionality and use are vital components of the process. I want people to touch the pots I make, to explore them, to use them, to gradually come to know them and bring personal meaning to the ideas they reference. Utilitarian pots provide a unique opportunity to inject information I hear, read, and talk about into one of our most intimate visual spaces: the home. This space is ripe for quiet personal reflection over a morning cup of tea from a thought-provoking tumbler, or energized by the presence of a dynamic handmade serving piece at a dinner party. While I certainly expect that this work will spend time removed from active domestic settings, I sincerely hope that it migrates often from the shelf out to the table.

 

Coal Train Tray, 23 in. (58 cm) in length, handbuilt earthenware with slips, stain, sgraffito, and terra sigillata, fired to cone 04 in oxidation, 2010.

Ultimately, my work is about asking questions—questions that motivate others to add their own voice to the broader conversation. I am aware that making pots will not solve the vast problems we face in our society today, but I do hope that the dialog and consciousness they encourage will result in steps, however small, toward a more healthy and sustainable future.

 


The 2011 Emerging Artists are featured in Ceramics Monthly magazine’s May 2011 issue.
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