"I am drawn to the sensuous nature of the clay itself and its haptic qualities. I seek to embody this sensuousness with volumes that appear pregnant with vitality or breath, looking to both the human form and shapes in nature for inspiration."
Kate Tremel is inspired by the archetypal relationship between the ceramic vessel and the human body. Her explorations have always been a metaphor for the human condition. Her body of work ranges from mixed media sculptures formed around plaster casts of her body to the current pierced patterns in the thin walls of porcelain pots.
The pots are raised slowly by pounding the stiff clay with a wooden paddle against a stone anvil while she cradles and rotates the form in her lap. The piercing of the thin walls of clay in their most fragile state is in itself an act of defiance or challenge to the material. While the form is being deconstructed it is actually being reconstructed with light. This tension, Kate states, “is a metaphor for my life’s work.” The essence of its beauty lies in the contradictions.
Her roots as a potter trace back to her studies in Lima where she was trained by a Peruvian artist who had been raised in a family of traditional potters. While her work is boldly contemporary, it still embraces the simplicity of the terra-cotta village pot.
Kate’s exhibition history dates back to 1989 into both fine art and contemporary craft. Her work is included in public collections including the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Shigaraki, Japan), the Peruvian North American Cultural Institute (Lima, Peru) and the Dinnerware Museum (Ann Arbor, MI). Her work has also been featured in numerous print publications such as Art Beat, American Style Magazine, and American Craft Magazine.