Kate McKay

Ginger jar, 2021

14.5 cm
I am a ceramic artist principally concerned with making domestic ware. Success for me is seeing my pieces used and loved, to arrange flowers or sticks in, to drink coffee and tea out of, or to eat from. I take time to create an object of beauty to be used by others in their daily lives. I am drawn to the intrinsic humility of the ceramic process. I can make functional objects from the earth, with the help of water, air and fire.

I understand no two firings are identical. This was a source of frustration, but now as I mature as a ceramic artist I have allowed my work to subject itself to the infinite variables that influence the end result. Ceramics can be tedious with it trials and disasters, but when there is magic, it is completely worth it, and I am humbled by the process that produces it.

I love the solitude, space and the sounds of the natural landscape around me – this gives me equal parts of inspiration and the meditative concentration required in the process driven practice of conceiving, making and finishing my ceramic pieces.

Here, I am exploring the traditional Chinese ginger jar shape, using different clays and glazes to get different surface textures and colours. This jar has a traditional Japanese oribe glaze, which is also reminiscent of green glazes used in French provincial pottery. The piece has a rustic patina from the the way the glaze sits on this clay, and includes evidence of my finger marks where the pot was held while applying the glaze. I have made several of these jars over the last year or so; and I wanted to approach a state of freedom and abandonment with the jars, rather than feeling constrained and tight.
I am a regional ceramic artist working on Gundungurra country, near Ngunawal country just north of the shores of Weewera, or Lake George, Collector. (between Goulburn and Canberra.) EXPERIENCE 2021 – Participant in a Regional Artist Mentorship Programme run by cementa Inc. – ‘Earthbound’: group show at the Goulburn Regional art Gallery (you see a tour of the show via Instagram TV) 2020 November Coming Together, Helen Stephens Gallery Joint exhibition of Kate McKay, Robbie Howard and Alan Howard 2015-current – Collector Studio Extensive studio practice, Collector Shearing Shed Studio 2016-current Collector Wines Cellar Door Manager, including outlet to retail Kate McKay ceramics 2010-2014 Lynwood Preserves Maker and owner of hand-crafted preserves and jams 2002-2009 Lynwood Café, Collector Intimately involved in family business, including production and use of ceramics in the restaurant. 2003- 2006 Founding member, Collector Village Pumpkin Festival Committee 2002 Studio Assistant, Anders Ousback Ceramic Studio, Wombarra 1997 Graduate Exhibition, Canberra School of Art, Australian National University EDUCATION 1997 Graduate Diploma of Fine Art Australian National University Majoring in Ceramics 1993 Year 12 HSC.
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