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Kathleen Hamlet

What clay body do you use?

"I use porcelain, the most translucent that I can find! I color it with a variety of stains. The clay is laminated together to form blocks of patterns."

Primary forming method?

"Handbuilding and slip casting sometimes together "

Primary firing temperature?

"Cone 5-6"

Favorite surface treatment?

"Soda Ash. I don’t usually glaze, but soda ash fluxes the clay body slightly, giving it a  beautiful sheen"

Favorite Tools?

"A rolling pin"

Describe your studio environment.

"I work out of my home which is a small garage apartment. I am lucky to have a separate room. I fire my work in the garage."

How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"For years, I did no selling. Now, I'm doing small local markets and a few stores. The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft sells most of my work."

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

"My inspiration comes from a love for patterns and light. My background is in science and I love to push the limits of the material."              

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

"I was in my late thirties when I took my first class. The journey is a lot of ups and downs and is a long and separate answer."

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

"When I first started, there were very few people working in colored clay. Now, i have a very wide network, all over the world. I seek them out for both questions and to give advice."

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

      To LOOK. When I teach students, I tell them books, internet, YouTube. "

      Website URL and other social media platforms:


      After wallowing about at the University of Texas, traveling, and working various jobs to feed my travel habit, I finally settled on a major: nutrition, which combined my love of science, medicine, and food.  I decided to take a ceramics class at Austin community college taught by Ishmael Soto, a well-known Potter and sculptor. He introduced us to colored clay in the first class. Why? I’ll never know but I was hooked. My science background loved clay. So much to learn!

      I was hired as the studio ceramic tech in 1988 which included moving to a new campus where the department had to be built from scratch. Our space included a quadrangle of welding, automotive, and building trades departments.

      We collaborated on many projects: an updraft and downdraft gas kilns, kiln shed, shelving etc. 

      I developed a wide range of skills besides the traditional ones of assisting students, ordering supplies, making glazes, and firing their work.  I continued my color clay work and I was able to teach classes there using clay in conjunction with wood or metal such as making tiles for tables.  I worked there from 1988 to 1997 and my skill set enabled me to build a home and a studio practice in Elgin Texas.

      In 1998, I obtained a real estate license which allowed me freedom to work, travel, and connect with Clay artists around the world. I moved to Houston in 2014 to be nearer to family. I continue to connect and share my clay knowledge and belong to several colored clay groups.

      I have taught slip casting with colored clay workshop as well as a Nerikomi workshop with Potclub HTX founded by Michelle Heinesen.


        PO Box 667401
        Houston, TX 77266

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