Ceramics have a relationship to technology and history. Ceramic objects describe the technology of an age and they also contain historical information, helping us understand the style of a time. And if style is also the result of what is technically possible, then the two become inextricably tied. By weaving together historical forms and techniques with digital fabrication, I am looking to invent pottery forms that are related to the forms of the past, but also tied to the tools of our age. In their novelty, these new ceramic objects also ask questions: What does the proliferation of digital images mean for our sense of aesthetic? What does our cultural tendency to organize, categorize and curate do to our understanding of objects? And what does the availability of digital tools mean for our contemporary sense of form, to our ‘style,’ and to the craftsperson’s work?
Mat Karas is a ceramic artist from Montréal, Québec. Currently Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Concordia University in Montréal, Mat also taught Ceramics at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore from 2012 to 2019. Mat holds an MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. Mat’s work in Ceramics plays with function as a language to mediate art, tradition, and daily life. In 2016, Mat was awarded an ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts; the funding helped organize a collaborative studio residency at MICA in Baltimore, celebrating and researching the intersection of 19th century American architectural terracotta with contemporary digital tools and techniques. In 2015, Mat was awarded a one-month studio intensive residency at the Guldagergaard in Skælskør, Denmark. His research at the Guldagergaard centred around the junction of traditional firing methods with digital fabrication. Mat’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.