Kenneth Kaufman

Email: kaufmanks@comcast.net

Instagram: @cleanmuddauber

As a ceramicist, function usually provides me the necessarily restrictive framework for creative exploration.

 

I tend to make tableware, and make it in series, throwing bowls, plates, mugs, pitchers, jugs—with the goal of sneaking the visually- and tactilely-pleasing handmade object into intimate, daily use. On occasion I’ll go larger, usually just to explore a particular form or glaze. I take most of my inspiration from Japanese Mingei and English studio pottery.

 

As for clay, I profess a determined eclecticism, although more often than not I add sand or bits of granite to what I throw or coil build, in order to roughen things up and break pedestrian expectations.

 

Wood and soda are my preferred types of firing, as the depth and mystery that atmospheric glazing gives surfaces is worth the relatively greater loss rate.

 

As for form, my esthetic is to wobble along the tightrope between what appears to be organic growth and planned construction—between nature and artifice.

 

Finally, decoration: my mantra is usually, “Maybe tomorrow,” and other times, “Stop!” –The kiln should have room to paint.

 

Of the pots and other ceramic forms I produce, the ones I like the best usually seem to have the least to do with me and the most to do with the lengthy, labor-intensive process of wood firing: as if I’ve merely done a passable job stretching the canvas for the kiln to do its work.

BIO

I was raised in Michigan by a chemist father and a sculptress mother, so of course it was only natural that I would become a lawyer, rather than a ceramicist.

 

Universities in California and New York led to a degree in anthropology and a year of graduate study and time spent in central Java, followed by law school in DC and over three decades in private practice there, where my wife and I also raised a family.

 

For the last decade I’ve gone back to my origins, as it were, seeking to make material science and artistic form and expression come together in pleasing and (usually) useful ways. To date I’ve done several shows at the Glen Echo Popcorn Gallery, Glen Echo, Maryland, as well as the Clay Coop in Rockville, Maryland.

Woodfired Stoneware Plate
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Stoneware Shino Bottle Vase
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Stoneware Vase
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Stoneware Jug and Porcelain Cups
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Stoneware and Porcelain Mugs
by Kenneth Kaufman
Porcelain Jug and Cups
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Porelain Teabowls
by Kenneth Kaufman
Woodfired Porcelain Plate
by Kenneth Kaufman
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