A ceramic work by Karen Fevold (Courtesy Photo).

A ceramic work by Karen Fevold (Courtesy Photo).

The art makers: Karen Fevold creates with clay

Creating functional ware allows her to focus on things people use and interact with every day.

  • Friday, May 15, 2020 3:55pm
  • Arts

In studios tucked all over Vashon, artists are still at work, busy creating and exploring their art forms in the era of coronavirus.

Longtime island artist Christine Beck has recently launched a project to profile artists and their works in Vashon Island Visual Artists’ monthly newsletter and will also share them on the pages of The Beachcomber.

Karen Fevold has played around with clay for a long time, from a middle school program at the University of Montana Ceramics Department to classes at various Seattle community centers after her move to the Northwest and doubling down 17 years ago when she moved to Vashon.

A stream ecologist by profession, working in salmon habitat evaluations until the Vashon move, made traveling for work impractical. She began working consistently in clay at Beall Greenhouse studios. Encouraged by veteran island potter Liz Lewis, Fevold began working at Lewis’s studio where she ultimately became involved in the Studio Tour. She describes herself as essentially a functionalist or maker and enjoys the endless opportunities the practice of pottery offers to constantly make the work better.

Karen Fevold. (Courtesy Photo).

Karen Fevold. (Courtesy Photo).

The scientist part of her is put to good use in mastering the chemistry of clay. Creating functional ware allows Fevold to focus on things people use and interact with in their daily lives. She prefers to make individual, unique pieces and rarely creates sets, although the work happily mixes and matches. Fevold’s clay preference has been earthenware. Now, she is experimenting with different bodies and firing temperatures and moving toward stoneware.

With the current Stay at Home order, she temporarily reduced her work time and is doing hand building.

Meanwhile, Liz, Karen and their third studio mate Marla Smith are discussing how to make the Lewis studio safe so they can work more consistently.

Fevold’s work may be seen on Pinterest, Facebook and at Liz Lewis’s studio during Spring and Holiday Tours. Reach the artist at kanefevold@gmail.com.

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