Karen Newgard

Asheville, NC

Exhibiting Member Since 2004

Growing up in spirited Louisiana gave me a sense of celebration.  I strive to make a pot that honors our daily routines with a degree of festivity. One of my greatest influences is the drawing style associated with Southern Folk Art, flattened perspective and many vantage points.  The landscape and the architectural elements found in South Louisiana have also been a strong influence in the development of my imagery.   The natural world has always been a great source for pattern; the stripes created in an empty field, the cadence created by a row of crops, a trellis full of roses or a bunch of tulips.  My interior scenes began with my memories of our family gatherings at my grandparent’s farmhouse in Southern Minnesota.  Over the years these scenes have evolved into an iconographic encyclopedia that I draw from to continue to create more stories and scenes. The sgrafitto carving technique developed in the eastern Mediterranean.  The images on their pots represented aspects of their everyday experiences.  This idea of using scenes and icons from daily life has always been an integral part of my work.  Most recently I have been taking the images outside the home and creating scenes for a variety of birds. The reductive carving method allows me to add movement to the images on the surface of my pots.  To further exemplify this notion of lively animation I use salt to glaze and activate the surface of my pots.  This firing method promotes subtle color variations in the clay and also glazes the pot.  The fire completes the process making each piece a one of a kind.

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