The Gallery at Wonderland Clayworks
The Gallery at Wonderland Clayworks features works of
and featured artists of the Gunnison Valley
Working in clay allows my hands to move freely, creating a passage to illustrate emotion. I approach my ceramic forms and surfaces with a playful exploration of altering, texturing, carving, and glazing techniques. Whimsical imagery is freehandedly carved into the surface of a wheel thrown pot using a Japanese inlay technique called Mishima. Hand painted under glaze accents highlight the illustrative design, creating a narrative that is reminiscent of a storybook. Clay vessels are a blank page, awaiting the carved ‘doodle’. The ceramic form is also a foundation to inlay texture, to poke, prod and alter basic form- introducing a sense of play with colorful glazes and stains. Each piece begins as a basic recognizable form of function and shifts into an object of curiosity, evoking that sense of childlike wonderment. My forms shape and shift into objects that take on a personality of their own and deliver an experience of joy as they are used in daily life.
As a child, into adolescence and all the way to where I am now- there is creativity that emerges everyday. Through painting, drawing, music metals or mud- there was and continues to be an art project in motion and a head full of ideas. Imagination can take one to such magical places. Growing up, I was surrounded by supportive creative people in my family. My grandmother was a painter and my mother a mixed media artist and woodworker. This creativity nurtured my own artistic journey. I remember spending summers in the Colorado mountains at our family cabin atop my ‘drawing rock’, sketching, painting and also working away with glass arts and sculpture in my parents garage into the wee hours of the morning. It wasn’t until I first touched clay in college that I found the medium that fed my soul to its fullest. That was 14 years ago and I am still learning, growing and feeding my soul daily with my hands in clay and an imagination that carries my work to new places. Currently, I teach workshops and classes in Denver, the Gunnison Art Center and the Crested Butte Clay Studio. My most recent endeavor was opening Wonderland Clayworks in Gunnison, CO- a community studio space and gallery that ignites the imagination and encourages a playful creative approach to clay through private classes and workshops.
Abra Karbin Ceramics
My primary focus as an artist is pottery. I consider myself a painter and also have tattooing experience. I have finally been able to incorporate my three passions into my ceramic work.
I was raised in the north suburbs of Chicago. Growing up I focused on drawing and painting. I went on to expand my artistic breadth at Illinois State University where I studied ceramics, glass blowing, graphic design, oil painting, and fiber dying. I then studied in Florence, Italy where I studied figure drawing and fresco painting. When I returned from Florence I finished my undergraduate degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) where I focused on sculptural ceramics. I also took on a tattooing apprenticeship while I was at SAIC. I tattooed in Chicago, Gunnison and Crested Butte for a total of seven years but have decided to focus my creative energies on ceramics.
My goals in ceramics are to keep exploring new techniques for surface design, to continue establishing my style, and to continue expanding my audience.
Thank you for taking the time to check out my artwork. If you'd like to check out more of my artwork and keep current with what I'm up to please check out my facebook page, Abra Karbin Ceramics, my instagram @abra_karbin_ceramics, or my etsy shop Abrakarbinceramics. I take on commissions but please allow at least 2 to 4 weeks for production. Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement of my dreams.
You can find my work locally in the Gunnison Valley at the Shop at the Gunnison Arts Center, The Toggery Elevated, and Resilient Threads.