kari woolsey

Duration: september2019-march 2020

Kari Woolsey, our long-term artist-in-residence for this season, plans to explore new ideas, while continuing to build her professional practice and studio research methods. Specifically, she would like to focus on smaller vignettes that are scaled down version of larger installations she has made. This new body of work will be more easily shown and transported to galleries. These vignettes will be made in the visual language of a still life and will feature objects and vessels of the home that hold memories, emotions, and personal stories.

 Email: kariwoolsey@gmail.com 



quick facts

How many years have you been working as a clay artist? I have worked as a clay artist for the past 8 years, since receiving my BFA in 2011.

What is your main clay body that you currently use?  The majority of my work is made with terracotta clay. I am attracted to the richness in the red clay and the depth that it provides both glazed and unglazed.

What is the primary method you use for building your work? Typically I hand build utilitarian forms and objects. My process involves coiling and pinching to give a textured softness to surfaces.

What is your favorite studio tool? A multi-needle scoring tool is the most used tool in my studio practice. It makes attaching hand built forms quicker and provides a stronger bond for connection to separate pieces.

Do you have any future clay wishes or dreams? I would like to continue to build my studio practice and teach in community class environments.




Through functional pottery and installations, I focus my work around the “everydayness” of objects found in the home. Our objects can reflect personal experiences and moments of our lives. These can be quiet like a routine morning cup of coffee or lively moments shown by remnants left behind from a dinner party. Memories contribute to the object’s thingness by giving the object another life, one that can be unspoken or unknown and yet familiar. Installations are comprised of recognizable domestic spaces to start a conversation between the viewer and their things, and the emotions that spaces filled with our objects can hold.

 I explore vessels and object forms hand built in terracotta to utilize the historically commonplace status of red clay. The “everydayness” of these objects is expressed in installations through the materials of terracotta, paper, and fabric to reflect how we relate to objects as common and easily replaceable. Installations touch on the mundane tasks and daily rituals of life to ask the viewer to think deeper about how we are connected to the objects around us. Ultimately, these domestic scenes reference what is actually found in our homes on a daily basis: a compilation of time, material things, and memories.




BORN: Boca raton, florida        

Kari Woolsey is originally from South Florida. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 2011, with a BFA in ceramics. In 2015, she completed a year long Post Baccalaureate program in ceramics at the University of Florida. She received an MFA in ceramics at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL in 2018. Kari’s work focuses on the “everydayness” of objects and vessels around us through making functional pottery, as well as, larger installations. She was Clay Arts Vegas’ summer resident artist in 2017, and an Artist-in-Residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in 2018 - 2019. Her interests are divided between researching to maintain an active studio practice, time spent making in various materials, such as clay, paper, wire, and fabric, as well as, teaching community based ceramics classes. Most recently, Kari spent the summer of 2019, in Maine at Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts as their 2020 Salad Days Artist-in-Residence.