Katie Stone

Artist Statement

We live in a time of social change and responsibility. As a ceramic artist, my sculptures are filled with playful, tongue in cheek comments on the human condition. Most specifically, hashing out the conversations of gender politics.Having been brought up around the livestock industry, I often use animals as characters to replace, represent, and critique their human counterparts. My figures are sculpted out of solid blocks of clay. I build their musculature but leave them loosely gestural to express movement.

There is joy in perfecting and challenging the clay’s destination. My work is as much about my own hand as it is the language of the material. My recent body of work is built entirely of black stoneware, which perpetuates this conversation. I glaze my sculptures realistically, however the black clay always burns through the precise coat colors of animals and the neat stitching of clothing, adding darkened edges and covering the pieces in black stippling.

My fluidly sculpted animals and people lay in contrast upon slab built pedestals. They live amongst a naive two-dimensional narrative world. Their scenery is drawn on slabs of clay like childlike doodles. These flat surfaces are painted in beaming colors. I use the contrast of dark clay animals amongst a joyous colorful world as a process of repackaging the weight we carry. I find it an attempt to view our human strife through rose colored glasses.

— Katie Stone

Bio

Originally from Connecticut, I grew up where morning traffic was from the dairy cows crossing the road. My days were spent consistently dirty, competing and taking care of horses. This connection with animals would eventually find its way into my artwork.As a young adult, I found myself studying in the vibrant city of Baltimore. I stumbled, albeit, fell face first into a love of ceramics, to my own family’s initial dismay. But I was hooked. The dexterity of the clay, the language left by the hand on its surface, it was intoxicating. My senior year was spent feverishly sculpting giant animals and dreaming for what was next.

That same year I was nominated by NCECA as a Regina Brown fellow. This grant took me to the wilds of Alberta Canada, where a year long Artist in Residence at Medalta Potteries.

Slipping out of the shoes as an Artist in Residence, I find myself in the present based out of Pittsburgh PA. Still, my life is spent as a full time artist, but in a different capacity. By day I am the Studio Director of a feisty ceramic studio. By night I make angsty, but funny sculptures which I exhibit across the country.

— Katie Stone