Meet Kat Morrell.
Science, Spirit and Art are the watchwords of her crystalline glazed porcelain work. Formulating glazes and controlling the firing conditions to coax crystals to grow, she arranges the conditions to let nature's design to reveal herself. The geometric complexity and beauty of the crystals is a microcosm – sometimes reminiscent of outer space, sometimes ice on a windowpane, sometimes blooming flowers. You might even see the vestiges of a 4 yr old’s fascination in watching her grandmother create Pysanki--colorful Ukrainian eggs--with complex designs.
Says Kat: “I love seeing layers of interest in art that draws the viewer into deeper and deeper layers of detail. This is one of the reasons that I love crystalline glazes so much. One can look with a magnifying glass and see the inner structure of the crystals. Each piece is unpredictable and unique. I seek to create forms that also show the underlying geometric structure of all things”.
Much of her art has its roots in mathematics and geometry, and evidences an interesting and varied background. She studied biochemistry and public health, and then found herself marketing computer systems for scientific and engineering applications. There was a Los Angeles period with more business sales roles, then a few years in Santa Fe, New Mexico and ultimately in Seattle as an executive recruiter for Internet startups. “It was right at that time that I met my art benefactor, venture capital investor, tool maker, best friend and husband who has provided me the opportunity to work in clay full time”, Kat says.
She has been working and studying clay since 1993, first at the Kirkland Arts Center and occasionally at Pottery Northwest. For those in the know in the ceramics world, it is significant that Kat has studied glaze and color development with Robin Hopper and aesthetics of ceramic form with Les Manning at Metchosin International Summer School for the Arts (MISSA) in Canada. Three years ago Kat was a participant in the Electric Reduction Crystalline Glaze Gathering created by Phil Hamling in New York. She recently studied crystalline glaze techniques with Ginny Conrow and John Tilton at Dunedin Fine Arts Center in Florida.
Kat will have her fascinating work on display at the upcoming Sammamish Arts Fair, October 13th and 14th. You can see Fair details and examples of her work at http://sammamishartsfair.wordpress.com/ and also at her website, www.katmorrell.com