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Katherine Mathisen

Katherine Mathisen
Ceramic Artist

"My work is motivated by the human need to communicate and connect.  Using the language of visual and tactile vocabulary, this allows me to go beyond the limitations of our given verbal skills.  My current work continues to explore connections.  To thrive and grow as humans we continue to seek meaningful connections and relationships to each other, animals, nature and the earth.  Art can create connections that touch our souls, transcending time and space. "

- Katherine Mathisen, Ceramic Artist.


Katherine's ceramic pieces share in the mystery of what it is to be human; communicating her love for plants, nature and the human form.  Her current work is done by hand using earthenware clay and a combination of surface glazes, engobes, colored slips, stains, terra sigillata and Egyptian paste.  Creating figurative sculpture posed in simple gestures to convey human emotion and relationships, Katherine's current work blends clay and other media in an artfully articulate way.

She textures the clay at different stages from soft to dry to create an effect that is simultaneously familiar and mysterious.  To create these unique surfaces, each piece may be fired as few as two or as many as five times.  Using her unique visual vocabulary, she incorporates symbols as part of her novel surface design.  Some of these symbols are inspired by nature and ancient cultures, and others are designs she creates using found objects and everyday items.  To further enhance these surfaces she may use “post fired” finishes, including wax encaustics, acrylic paints, gold leaf and colored pencil.  Her process results in highly textured surfaces that beg to be touched.

Katherine studied sculpture with many noted artists at the Penland School of Art & Crafts, including Thomas Kerrigan, Alice Munn, Stan Andersen and Sana Mususama.  She obtained her Bachelor's degree from the University of Central Florida, specializing in Art and Biological Studies.  In addition, she studied ornamental horticulture at SUNY in Farmingdale, NY, and acquired twenty years of experience in the field as a floral and landscape designer in both New York and Florida.  Gardens she created have appeared in magazines, books and TV commercials.

Katherine has exhibited and taught ceramics for more than 18 years, working with many masters in contemporary sculpture.  Currently, Katherine exhibits her award-winning ceramic sculpture in galleries and art shows throughout the US, and pieces can be found in both public and private collections in the US, South America, Europe and Australia.  She continues to create ceramic sculpture as well as teach clay workshops and classes to children and adults.  As her work evolves she eagerly pursues new challenges and looks forward to knowing where this journey will next lead her.