Kate Shakeshaft began making pottery purely for fun as an English major at Grinnell College in Iowa. She has never stopped. Kate has a BFA in ceramics, sculpture and drawing from the University of Iowa, and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Florida. Between degrees she worked for five separate production potteries in Vermont, and after graduate school taught full-time at Francis Marion University in South Carolina. In 1997 Kate returned to Gainesville, FL, to set up a studio with her husband Don Murray. Don passed away in 2006; in 2008 Kate Murray began teaching ceramics at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. She has an extensive national exhibition record including four appearances in the Strictly Functional Pottery National, and has won recognition as an Emerging Artist at NCECA (National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts). Artist’s Statement: Pots can fulfill our need for practical containers, for tactile contact with other human hands, for formal beauty, and for carriers of personal meaning. My pots rarely defy function: mugs hold coffee, jars can contain beans or human cremains. At the same time pots are small sculptures whose beauties pertain to line, form, proportion, rhythm, color and texture. I strive to make elegant forms with sumptuous surfaces. And my life has shaped the work: reflections on experience and circumstances manifest themselves in the best pots.
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