The Potters’ Nook
Clay Works by Levering Thomas and Kathleen Kanas
Open same hours as Hoffman Gallery
Hoffman Center for the Arts | Clay Studio
February in the Potters’ Nook
works by Levering Thomas and Kathleen Kanas
Welcome to the Potters’ Nook featuring ceramic artists associated with the Hoffman Clay Studio.
Located inside the Hoffman Gallery, these ceramic works are offered for immediate purchase. Visit us during Gallery Hours – listed below
Creating gives voice to my thoughts and feelings about nature and how humans and nature intersect. My work usually follows months of cultivating ideas by sketching, reading, writing and making models. I thrill at imagining concepts in three dimensions, shaping them into physical forms, and solving structural problems intrinsic to ceramics.
Nature comes in thousands of forms and textures, so I use paper clay to capture nature’s complexity. Paper clay allows me to make shapes and surfaces not possible with clay lacking fibers. Some sculptures also require using armatures – metal structures supporting complicated curves and shapes during initial drying. Armatures also allow stretching the clay and assembling delicate pieces into a structural whole.
As I shape clay I often apply textures found in natural objects such as pieces of driftwood. I also use molds and tools to etch and carve. Other times I use only my hands to stretch and crease the clay to form furrows representing movement. Shaping surfaces coaxes my eyes as well as my hands to feel the clay and imagine how my spirit imprints my creation.
Working with clay brings me a sense of freedom and timelessness. I hope you share my joy as you view the results of my work.
I was raised in the Pacific Northwest spending time in the outdoors with family and friends learning to appreciate our surroundings and regional heritage.
That along with an early exposure to basket weaving in grade school at the age of twelve had a big impact on my attraction to weaving. My career in elementary education allowed opportunities to share that appreciation in lessons connecting culture to the environment.
Residing in Manzanita, Oregon during those years teaching, I found my extra time revolved around exploring how natural materials and different weaving techniques could be used to create both traditional and contemporary basket forms. The results of that exploration led to participating in local craft fairs, acceptance into juried art shows, teaching basketry to children and adults, and eventually opening and operating the 4th Street Studio and Gallery which was a featured segment on Oregon Art Beat in 2009.
Currently hand building with clay, I have started to incorporate natural materials in the pottery form. This idea challenges design, construction and aesthetics in each piece, bringing renewed energy into the creative process.