Lauren Karle

Lauren Karle, Watrous, NM, USA
Lauren Karle, White Bear Township, MN, USA

Originally from Middleton, Wisconsin, Lauren earned her bachelors of arts degree in K-12 Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. After graduating she taught middle school art for two-and-a-half years in Guatemala City, Guatemala. While she loved teaching, her heart was only half fulfilled; she was just as much an artist. She began pursuing the second component of her career and started her journey in clay.

Lauren was a post-baccalaureate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two years before completing her Masters of Fine Arts at Kansas State University in 2014. Community projects include Taste of Mexico, Collaborative Potluck, Coffee Corner Connections, Women’s Roles through Time, Cultivating Community through Shared Experiences, and Portion Plates. In 2013 she was awarded the NCECA Graduate Student Fellowship to complete a two month internship at Talavera Uriarte in Puebla, Mexico. She continued to research the Talavera tradition as the Artist-in-Residence at Escuela de Arte Talavera in Spain in 2015. Her work has been included in the 2015 NCECA Biennial, the MBK Graduate Student Exhibition at the Clay Studio, Strictly Functional, and Crafts National among other shows. In 2015 she was awarded the Betty Woodman Prize and participated in the Future of Food thematic as an Artist-in-Residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She regularly publishes articles in Ceramics Monthly and has contributed to Ceramics Technical. From surface to form and the ways in which her work is used, she aims to use pottery as her vehicle to build understanding and compassion between diverse people and cultures. She is excited and motivated by the belief that her work can make a difference in the world.


Artist Statement
My ultimate mission is to facilitate connections between cultures and within communities. Through shared experiences, such as eating a meal together or sipping tea, people can find commonalities amongst their unique backgrounds. I have seen that a small amount of appreciation and awareness can lead to respect and cooperation.

Art both reflects our experiences and shapes them. Ceramic art has always bridged both of these responsibilities of art in society. Art objects are imbued with identity, culture, and environment, reflecting people and place. Utilitarian ceramics are inherently linked to the history of food and beverages, shaping how we interact. Used in special ceremonies, daily rituals, and community events, vessels mediate and define human interaction. I approach the making of my work knowing that it has the potential to be the interface between people and relationships.

My work is inspired by people with whom I have interacted. The work reflects each person – their character, aesthetic, passions, culture, and environment – through my lens. I carefully layer the forms and surfaces with meaning, and through their use they have the ability to influence experiences. Made from earthenware and patterned with slip-transferred designs, each piece is food safe. As my work conveys nourishment to our bodies, I hope that relationships and connections will continue to grow. Art and handicrafts have the potential to unite people, preserve culture, help us understand each other, and safeguard the beauty of history. I hope to touch the lives of as many people as possible through my craft, community, and passion for humanity.