Duration: march-april 2019
Kritika Soni is one of our current artists-in-residence at the New Harmony Clay Project. During her time, she will focus on exploring new forms and refining her rustic colored surfaces using engobes and dry glazes. Kritika also hopes to increase the scale of her work and create a new vocabulary of surfaces and textures that are very organic in nature. We happily welcome Kritika to the U.S.A. and hope you will get to meet her in New Harmony!
How many years have you been working as a clay artist? It’s been about 3 years. I switched to ceramics full time in 2016. Before that I was pursuing textile design and working in the textile industry.
What is your main clay body that you currently use? I use stoneware clay and fire it up to 1260°C (2300°F)
What is the primary method you use for building your work? I primarily work with hand-building/slabs.
What is your favorite studio tool? A hand roller to press textures of fabrics or found objects into the clay.
Do you have any future clay wishes or dreams? Currently, I work out of a community studio. While it’s been great so far, I can’t wait to set up my own studio! I dream of a big space where I split it into an area for display (gallery space) and a working space.
The irregularities in our lives form the basis of my design philosophy. I find inspiration in the various experiences and emotions of growth, change, sadness, frustration, anxiety and excitement that we go through in the journey called life. I use ceramics as a medium to express that nothing is ever perfect and that such experiences enrich life, rather than diminish its quality or purpose. Imperfections make life as well as art interesting.
In a world where we tend to pay more emphasis to the new, the shiny and the perfect, I make ceramics that show and celebrate the flaws, the wear-and-tear and the inconsistencies of life, thereby adding more character and beauty to each piece. My visual language draws from the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi, a timeless idea that honors all things old, weathered, imperfect and impermanent. As a result, creases, joints, rustic edges, marks and a subtle color palette are characteristic of my work. Life is organic, and I like to preserve that quality in my work as well.
As an alumnus of the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, my background in Textile Design has inspired me to bring my love for textures and color to ceramics. My current works bring together the two contrasting mediums of textiles and ceramic through juxtaposition and layering. I enjoy merging the soft and the tactile quality of textiles with the strong and tough feel of ceramics.
BORN: Delhi, India
Kritika Soni is a textile designer by degree, but a full-time ceramic artist by profession. She started her art journey from Srishti School of Art & Design, Bangalore, India, where she studied Textiles and graduated in 2011. She then went on to receive her Masters degree in Textile Design from Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK, in 2013, where she was awarded 100% scholarship by the University. It is here while working on her project on Slow Design and Sustainability, she found herself exploring clay as a medium for the first time and felt an instant connection with the medium.
After completing her Masters, she returned to India and worked in the textile industry for a while; however, she soon realized ceramics was her real calling. She then decided to move her focus fully on ceramics in 2016, and started making her art under the name “Kara Sabi.” She has recently (2018) been awarded Junior Fellowship in “Pottery and Ceramics” by the Government of India.