Thursday, 11 November 2010

Maker of the Day - Kate Fisher


Kate Fisher is a ceramicist based in Norfolk and produces both functional and sculptural pieces. Kate will be exhibiting her work at MADE10.

One favourite living craft maker.
That's a tricky one for me, so many people are influential in my craft life at the mo. The person I most look up to since speaking to him at college is David Hendley of Farmhouse Pottery in Maydelle, Texas, USA. I admire him as he tries to be as self sufficient as possible within his life using and reusing his own resources, he is the ultimate potter I've found that lives by the 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle' saying. I would love to be able to do that one day, its always been my dream to live off the fat of the land self sufficiently and to do that within pottery too would be amazing!

What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased? What one product/item do you really covet?
I recently bought a small ceramic piece from a potter called Gill Hedge, it was one of those items that I wouldn't usually go for, but something about it sang to me, I think it was the angle of the curve in it along with its unusual shaped rim.

To have a piece of Hans Copers would be fantastic! I love his work, the contemporary forms (I'm all about form) along with the natural surfaces, they look like they could've been from an era long lost and from today all at the same time. Magical.

At age 18 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way?
At age 18 I thought I was going to study fashion at Salisbury University, I was largely interested in the work of Issey Miyake. Thinking about it now, his work was very about form and that's where my influences are now. For one reason or another I didn't go and decided to do the BA (hons) in Design Crafts at Lowestoft College, and I'm so grateful I did as I wouldn't have found my true passion; throwing on a potters wheel.

What’s currently on your i-pod, cd player, tape recorder?
I love reggae! My favourite at the moment is Alborosie, he's on repeat along side Nina Simone and the Kooks. Some may say I have a varied taste in music.

Where and what is your studio?
I've recently moved studios. I'm in a little shop just off the high street in a gorgeous little market town in Norfolk called Harleston. I work in the shop so people can watch me work, I like to know how things are made and I think its important for people to see the time and love we crafts people put into our work.

What is your favourite (art) website?
I've recently been directed to the Ceramic Arts Daily website. Its brilliant, you can sign up for newsletters and its so helpful with tricks and tips for all kinds of pottery techniques.

Surprising activity/hobby?
Mmm... What makes an activity or hobby surprising? I do tai chi, pilates, yoga, walking and meditation. I attempt playing the guitar. Oh, this one might be surprising, I've just started learning to play the didgeridoo. Its so relaxing.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I struggle to switch off from craft mode once I get started, so I work longer days than the 'average' person. Especially at the moment as MADE10 is my first large event, I would like to make a good impression with my work to all the visitors. It does get tiring at times as most crafts are so physical, so I have to leave the house/workshop and go elsewhere so I don't start working and then tire myself out.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
Destiny. Its what I'm meant to do.

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
I honestly believe it is important. For the maker, without it what would be done with all that creativity? For me I couldn't imagine doing anything else and before I found my craft I felt lost. For the viewer, what an amazing way to see the beauty from within another person. It can open your eyes to the beauty all around us, I've experienced some deep emotions from looking at art and craft. For those that enjoy it but do not have the desire to produce it, would miss out on that too. To me it is all about perspective, art and craft helps you to realise that no one see's the world in the same way, everyone has a different opinion and this should be cherished. It also helps us hold on to our roots, mankind has come such an amazingly long way in producing things, I don't believe we should allow hand making techniques to become extinct. Mankind has so much to offer and I think there is a place for everything in it. So that's my opinion.

What do you think are crimes against good taste & decency in art/craft/design?
Personally, I'm not keen on Damian Hirst's work with the animals in formaldehyde, I think that shouldn't be classed as art, but then I like the thought provoking work he does with pills in cabinets. I don't like painted pre manufactured pots as its just not to my taste, I enjoy form and simplicity whereas the painted work is usually very busy and I find it slightly gaudy most of the time. Again, I go back to opinion, and art and craft are very much reliant on that and this is just my humble opinion.

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