Lovettsville, Virginia studio artist and educator, Kristen Swanson, has had her hands in clay since 1991. Kristen has been teaching ceramic art to children and adults in her community through her personal studio and classroom, White House Ceramics Studios, since 2001. Kristen exhibits her unique porcelain art locally and nationally and sells her work around the globe. She lives and works in her home studio in the heart of historic Lovettsville, Virginia with her husband and three sons.
1998 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramic Art, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
1994 Bachelor of Science in Education, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia
Ceramics Monthly, February 2017, Studio Visit http://ceramicartsdaily.org/ceramics-monthly/article/studio-visit-kristen-swanson-lovettsville-virginia/
The Studio Potter, Parts and Wholes, 2011/2012 Volume 40 Number 1 "Attending to Wholeness"
“Creating beautiful pottery through a process of work is like creating life where each physical day makes up profound and meaningful years.” –Hannah Marshall
This observation truly captures the essence of my studio practice and life. Each day I strive to acknowledge and understand what it means to make pots and what it means to contribute to my craft, my community and my spirit.
I discovered clay as a sophomore in college in 1991. It captured my heart, my intellect and my creative expression in a powerful way. I knew immediately that my life would revolve around this beautiful material. I finished my degree in elementary education, all the while sneaking into the ceramic studio on campus during the wee hours of the night, spending every available moment developing my skill. I taught elementary school for two years and proceeded to Virginia Commonwealth University to study ceramics and earn my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I have devoted my life first to my family and second to my own expression through clay.
I am committed to making art that is useful and enjoyable. I approach each piece as a problem to solve and an opportunity to communicate my own sense of beauty and order. I am interested in creating visual tension and balance on the surface of my pottery. I enjoy manipulating the elements of line, pattern and color to achieve a surface that is both controlled and spontaneous, graphic and soft. The use of black is visually grounding, balances the femininity of my patterns, and offers the highest contrast to my porcelain clay body. I use a variety of brushes, slip trail bottles and carving tools to create patterns on unfired ware. The use of sgraffito through black slip connects the surface decoration to the porcelain body. I am strongly influenced by traditional Japanese textiles and block prints as well as contemporary architecture, patterns and interiors. I have recently begun making larger forms and am learning how to approach pattern and scale on larger pieces.