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Créateur du mois #6 // Maker of the Month #6: Kaïa

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Créateur du mois #6 // Maker of the Month #6: Kaïa

Kaia is a quiet and attentive presence around the studio. In 2023 our production assistant of 9 years (!!) moved on to other pursuits . Fortunately, we found Kaïa! Her natural makers hands come through in the craftmanship she brings to each piece she makes.

  

How did you come to ceramics?

I’ve always been a very ‘hands on’ type of creative, my father had a woodworking studio when I was growing up and I used to love exploring and creating in there, so craft and materiality have always been a big part of me. I had been working in graphics and illustration, and really wanting to bring my illustrations onto a three - dimensional surface, so I signed up for an intro throwing class, thinking I was going to immediately be able to make giant vessels to illustrate on (ha!) Of course, as a complete beginner, I was barely able to make anything bigger than a cup, but it didn’t matter because I had completely fallen in love with the medium. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t afford to keep taking classes. I tried some hand building at home for a while, moved back to painting and illustrating, explored other mediums, but ceramics was always calling to me. Eventually, my family and friends all came together and collectively bought me a wheel for my birthday. That gift truly changed my life, I’ve had my hands in clay ever since!

Tell us about your ceramics practice, and what you enjoy making

For the first few years I was focused on the functional side of ceramics, in making really clean and minimal vessels, learning to throw perfect multiples and do production pottery. I wanted to highlight the properties of different clay bodies, and almost exclusively used clear glazes. I’ve taken a bit of a turn in the last year to slow down and be more experimental, more sculptural. Right now I am really excited by wild clay and glaze chemistry, trying to get closer to the origins of this practice. I find it really exciting to delve into the chemistry and understand the properties of different minerals. It truly feels like magic to be able to transmute natural materials into beautiful objects.

  

Tell us about your time at Atelier Make

I came to Atelier Make at a precipice in my own practice. Up until that point I had always been alone in my work, aside from that one intro throwing class I was self - taught, I had my own studio, and didn’t really know any other potters. I remember feeling really seen when I started working here, suddenly everyone around me spoke the same language, understood the medium, and wanted to share. My favourite thing about working at Atelier Make is teaching classes, I am constantly inspired by my student’s ambitions and ideas. After so many years it’s easy to take the magic of ceramics for granted, but seeing the students marvel at this medium constantly reminds me to approach my craft from a place of awe and wonder.