Artist Interview: Kathrine Thomson

Posted by Jenni Kirby - February 05 2021


Kathrine first started working with clay fifteen years ago, taking lessons at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen and later the Visual Arts Center in Richmond and at Arthaus. "I mostly wheel throw now, there's just something about it. It's so immediate, you see your successes and failures right away."


With ceramics, Kathrine says the key is to take an idea that inspires you, even if it is beyond your capabilities, and just go for it. Through her work, she has discovered that you may have an initial artistic vision but it usually evolves once you sit at the wheel, and that's ok. "That is why clay is so fun, it's so versatile. If you respect it, you develop a relationship with it and you can turn it into anything you want. And you're always learning." An avid learner, Kathrine laughs saying "I probably spend too much time reading pottery books and magazines ."


Ever inspired by her surroundings, Kathrine likes to incorporate natural textures into her ceramics. When you look closely at her pieces, you may notice impressions and appliqués of real leaves and tree bark, twine, lace and fabrics, and other organic components.


While her work is mainly fired in an electric kiln, she has found that other methods such as raku and saggar firing create fascinating effects when combined with applying such things as horsehair, feathers, sugar and other materials. "You never know what effect you will create, drawing a feather across or dropping horsehair onto a piece just taken from a raku kiln."


Upon reflection, Kathrine says she is lucky to have discovered this love of the ceramic process. "That's what everyone should do, find something that feeds your soul."