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Karen Cruce


What clay body do you use?

"Laguna’s BMix5, Laguna Frost porcelain, SiO2 Porcelains"


Primary forming method?

"Wheel."


Primary firing temperature?

"MidRange 5-6."


Favorite surface treatment?

"My absolute favorite is unglazed landscape drawings with metallic salts highlighted with underglaze pencils."

























Favorite Tools?

"Handbuilding- an old Tupperware icing smoother to smooth out my slabs.

Wheel- teardrop shaped wood rib."





Describe your studio environment.

"I do my work mainly in my teaching studio, Potters’ Place."


Studio assistant



















How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"Shows, galleries,a few festivals: Texas Art & Craft Fair in Ingram (for 5 years), Weihnachtsmarkt in New Braunfels (20 years), SugarLand art Festival (1 year), Indian River in Marble Falls, LaDiDa in Johnson City, Waco Art Center (January -March 2023, Pottery show at Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram every Feb-March, DeGallery in Bryan/College Station.I have participated in BCCC twice.  I add more each year. "

















What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?

"Shows, galleries,a few festivals: Texas Art & Craft Fair in Ingram (for 5 years), Weihnachtsmarkt in New Braunfels (20 years), SugarLand art Festival (1 year), Indian River in Marble Falls, LaDiDa in Johnson City, Waco Art Center (January -March 2023, Pottery show at Hill Country Arts Foumdation in Ingram every Feb-March, DeGallery in Bryan/College Station.I have participated in BCCC twice.  I add more each year."             



















Did you come to ceramics from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

      "As I mention in my artist statement, I was a financial advisor after college for 23 years.  I had planned to take this as a brief career until I found a job in my chosen field, Geology.  When I was 40 I mentioned to my husband that we needed more plates.  Since I have collected all my life & we have an extensive ceramics collection, my husband replied to learn how to make them.  I was enrolled in a class very soon after that statement which he rues the day he said it as it is all consuming.  I got a wheel the next month & after working & tending to dinner & the kids, I went to the garage & practiced until the wee hours."











      How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to your other artists?

      " I realized as I progressed that this art form was too important to die.  So I opened Potters’ Place 22 years ago.  We have grown to over 80 students.  I have student that have been with me the full 22 years all the way down to 5 new people this month.  I love coming up with ideas with the students & working through how to make the piece.

      I also was glad when Tom Perry contacted me to help with this new organization, ClayHouston.  This has become a great organization to promote and educate new & established clay artists."








        What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

          At the beginning it was to slow down (don’t be in a rush).  I find that I say that all the time to new students.

          Then it was to breathe.

          Now I emphasize for the students to educate themselves on all the fabulous potters we have had in the past 70 years."










          Website URL and other social media platforms:

          www.karencrucepottery.com

          FB:  Karen Skipper Cruce

          Instagram:  karencrucepottery

          Bio:

          Born in Houston & raised  with a strong sense of family - Mom was  a teacher and Dad loved being a journalist and cartoonist.  During adulthood I lived around the country but soon after my son was born, I moved back to Texas.    After college, since jobs were in short supply in my geology field in Seattle, I took what I thought would be a short gig in the finance field.  For 23 years I was a financial advisor with a national firm but when I took a night pottery class, I was hooked.  Five years later at the age of 45, I retired from my “first” life and became a full time clay artist.

          Now with over 28 years of working in ceramics, I have grown to realize the importance of each piece being well-crafted.  This, as a functional potter, became my main focus.  Along the way, I discovered that the inspiration for my finished work came from the earth - it’s processes,  textures and color. 



            clayhouston

            Address:
            PO Box 667401
            Houston, TX 77266

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