Driving America's Art Scene - Hunterdon County, NJ USA

Karin Abromaitis

Karin Abromaitis

Ceramics

Being a maker of objects is immensely satisfying to me. There is magic in having materials move in response to my hands and my imagination, magic in exploring the ephemeral and conceptual and manifesting it in time and space. The vessel form intrigues me. After many years of creating ceramic vessels for food and drink, I’m currently fascinated by what else a vessel might contain. Light, dreams, and ideas are now a part of what I make vessels for. My work in theater and in visual art is in pursuit and exploration of the essential gesture of a thought, a concept, a feeling, a thing: Memory, core/center/spine, pods, sanctuary. I’m looking for ways to evoke a response from an unconscious place within myself and an audience-for myself as maker and the audience as witness. Essential gesture-the first movement, the first breath of a thing.

I’m looking for that click of recognition, understanding, awareness of the ideas and things that lie deep within human thought and consciousness. There is something about the light, the fire in my Window Bowls that ignites an answering fire in me. The copper pieces generate heat and passion. The silver ones have a bright clarity that makes everything stand on its own. When I first had an entire table full of bowls all leafed and glowing, when I saw that, something in me shifted. I just want to get inside that light. I want to stand in that fire. So why do I make both functional and decorative work? Window bowls are divas-they are elegant and formal, fussy and temperamental, they challenge me and try my patience and I love them for that. Window bowls are the black tie dinner. My functional work is the pizza and beer-total comfort food. It’s soothing for me to throw board after board of neatly matching pots to line up on the shelves. There’s a rhythm of consideration and execution in it that is very satisfying.

Process: The vessels are wheel thrown stoneware covered in 6-8 coats of terra sigillatta and then burnished. After pit or saggar firing, the bowls are lined with metallic leafing and sealed. The windows are completed with decorative forms made with materials ranging from formed and fabricated silver and copper to natural and found objects.