Finding Your Artist Voice | Kate Marotz | Episode 879

Kate Marotz | Episode 879

Kate Marotz currently lives in Marshfield, WI where she shares a studio with her spouse. At UW-Stout Kate earned a BFA in Ceramics and BS in Art Education. Kate pinches pots combine sculptural qualities with functional objects and preserves the handbuilding process on the finished terra sigillata surfaces.

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In regard to finding your artist’s voice how important was dreaming on paper?

Well, I generally tend not to make that refined of sketches, but I like to get a rough draft thrown down just so I can kind of gather my thoughts a little bit. Pinching is different than throwing on the wheel. Like the time is different, the relationship with the material is different. I generally respond more to what’s happening in front of me than I did when I was working on the wheel. I usually sketch a little bit and then spend most of my time in the studio and figuring it out in three dimensions.

Was there fear in departing from that sunk cost investment?

At first there was. I think I kind of resisted leaving that all behind because I was very proud of everything that I had learned and what I was able to do with what I learned. But I think as soon as other people’s work started grabbing me and I got so excited about what they were doing more than worrying about what I was leaving behind I was more excited about what that potential could look like.

Is part of the process being able to find the right people, like your people?

For me it really was.  Yeah. I needed to see what those possibilities could look like. It was really important to me that my work not look like an echo of somebody else’s work. I like to think that my work is kind of different. I didn’t want people to look at my work and think, Oh she was looking at Candice Methe. Because that was who, in the beginning, I really was looking at. But I never wanted anyone to necessarily be able to say that. So I made sure that I was excited about it but then always looking at other references as well.

If you want to be able to have a voice that is independent is it important for your work to be independent also? To not fit?

For me I would say that’s true, you know, there are a lot of people that I don’t know that that is necessarily correct for them. But as soon as I started changing gears and learning so independently I kind of knew that I needed it to not fit. I knew that as soon as I started pinching I wanted to totally step away from being on the potter’s wheel. You can always alter things and edit them off of the wheel but on the wheel they are round and after having had that constraint for so long, when I switched to the pinch technique I felt this incredible freedom in being able to make things that weren’t in the round.

Do you think that you have to be consistent at being inconsistent to make your inconsistency look authentic?

That’s funny that you say that because I always say that to my students, that you need to be consistently inconsistent. I work with high school students right now and trying to explain aesthetic things to them can be really challenging because their vocabular and their skill set is so fresh and evolving and new. So for me, yeah, there is that need for  being consistently inconsistent that ties everything together.

Do you see a book in your future?

It’s funny that you bring that up because just earlier today I was thinking about how I’d love to write a book at some point. I don’t know exactly what that would look like but I love writing for Ceramics Monthly and I love thinking about pots and talking about them, so I think that’s something that I could definitely see myself trying to take on at some point.

Book

Terra Sigillata by Rhonda Willers

Mastering Hand Building by Sunshine Cobb

The Handbuilt Potter by Melissa Weiss 

Contact

marotzceramics.com

Instagram: @kate.marotz

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