For Kate Dutton-Gillett, the lure of the potter’s wheel proved stronger than academia. “I got a masters in art history at Michigan State and thought I’d teach,” she says. “But the call to make art rather than talk about it pulled me into the studio.
“My Dad is a painter and water colorist, and that, too, entered into my decision as did the influence of Mark McWhorter, a potter originally from Kentucky. The Appalachian sense of pottery is a precise one.”
A selection of Kate’s pottery will be on display at a private exhibition, Willow Art, along with two other local artists, Dana Shields and Mel Day, on Sunday, January 31st. Those interested in attending should contact John Donald at email@example.com.
Kate works out of her Menlo Park studio a few days a week, juggling “time in the studio” with parenting and singing in a church choir, where she is a soprano. She also teaches ceramics to both children and adults.
“I’d like to be more disciplined — I’m not happy with the hours that I spend in the studio. There are ideas that slip through my fingers.
“But I feel the wind is changing and am promising myself to get the kiln going twice a week.”
Kate is particularly drawn to pinch and coil pots. “Pinching gives my hand muscles such a good workout,” she says. “And I really enjoy doing slab and coil pots, shaped sculptures that are not necessarily functional. The different glazes give them such juicy textures!”
Photo by Irene Searles