Many have tried to master earthly elements such as fire and earth and Katy Krantz has succeeded in doing so. Each of her ceramics capture her spirit as well as the lifeforce of earth itself. Whether inspired by the human body or the vast history of the world, she produces work that is breathtaking as well as thought provoking.
Where are you from?
I was born in a rural area of Southern New Jersey. My family moved to California when I was 12, and I’ve lived here on and off ever since. I recently moved to Los Angeles after a four year stint in Seattle.
What is your art background?
I studied painting at Hunter College in New York. After school, I needed a break from painting and turned to ceramics as a way to mix things up. That was seven years ago—I’ve been hooked ever since.
What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as a designer?
I feel proud of the fact that I’ve been able to maintain my practice while being a mom to two young kids. Even before I had kids, I realized that half of being an artist is just showing up in the studio. That’s even more true for me now.
Do you think 3D printing will affect how you conceptualize your art?
At this point, no. Part of what draws me to making things is using my hands and creating unique objects. Perhaps if I start making objects on a larger scale, a 3D printer will become more relevant.
Do you find that your location has helped change how you see the world?
I think I have a West Coast sensibility. I didn’t even realize this until I went to New York for graduate school and I found myself drawn to West Coast artists and designers. The lack of embarrassment around color appeals to me. There is also a lightness to West Coast work- it doesn’t take itself so seriously.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
So many things! The best is when I can be in the kind of headspace that allows me to be inspired by something as simple as a walk around the block. Being in the moment, and not distracted by a million other things, allows the inspiration to come in. That’s why travelling is so great: it’s dedicated time to be open to the surrounding world. I especially have loved travelling in Greece and Mexico. The visual culture is so rich there and being an outsider only amplifies the visual experience.
Do you find that you are constantly pushing yourself for your business and your art?
What I have pushed for is the time and space to make the work. Carving out that time has gotten more challenging with kids in the picture, but having a partner who is supportive has been immensely helpful.
What drew you to clay materials?
As I mentioned, I have a painting background, and towards the end of grad school I was feeling really inhibited by all the restrictions associated with working in two dimensions. I knew I wanted to try sculpture and clay seemed like the most accessible medium. I love the fact that I am touching something as elemental as the earth when I’m building my pieces, and that fire and heat play such an important role. I also get to bring my love of painting back into the work with different kinds of surface decoration.
What is the most difficult part of being an artist?
The lack of financial stability.
What do you want people to take away from your art?
I love the idea of people living with my work and interacting with it daily. I see my pieces as physical manifestations of the creative process. It may sound a little woo-woo, but I like the idea of my energy moving through the piece to the user/owner of the object. In this way, the art object becomes a vehicle for human connection.
How is your personal life and your professional life intertwined?
As I mentioned, having a supportive partner who has advocated for my practice has been essential. The fresh perspective and unpredictable nature of children has also influenced my practice. In work and life, I can’t be perfectionist anymore.
What are your favorite hobbies?
I don’t really have any hobbies, per se. I do like to cook though!
Does social media affect how you introduce your art to the world?
Not really. I’ve never been comfortable on Facebook and use it rarely.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to expand into making sets of dinnerware. I love the idea of making one of a kind objects that people touch and enjoy everyday.