Finding magic in her hands

Finding magic in her hands

Ceramic world

Finding magic in her hands

Recently, the Manikyavelu Mansion aka the National Gallery of Modern Art saw the city’s art aficionados and patrons in vivid light. For, after 20 visits to India, British potter and ceramic artist of international repute, Kate Malone addressed the inquisitive audience about how the journey has been nothing short of spectacular; and how every visit has had a profound impact on her, invoking her to think deeply.

Had I not met the British potter, little would I have known about the intricacies involved and the effort that goes into making beautiful pieces out of clay. Chirpy, bright and lively, Kate’s effortlessness in her approach makes her extremely affable. Clad in a beige kurta, Kate comes across as somebody with a lot to share and the aura to immediately light up the room, given her vigour and zest for life and all things art and craft.

A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Kate has had her signature collection of work displayed in various museums across the globe. Over the course of her enriching journey, not only has she emerged as one of UK’s foremost artists, but a mentor and a living inspiration for everyone around her too.

Describing her work as ‘personal meditation’, Kate draws inspiration from the elements of nature — sea, land and magma, and as well as the most mundane things — including egg cups, facades of buildings to swimming pools. Her distinguished pieces of art have made their way to some of the most distinguished museums across the world, including the Sevres Museum France, V&A London, The Ashmolean Museum Oxford and the LACMA in Los Angeles.

With a career spanning for over 30 years, if there is anything that sets her work apart, it is the simplicity and passion that she brings along, which indeed makes all the difference. Kate specialises in decorative art, public art and academic glaze and research; she has gotten everything covered in what she calls her forte. With the help of a set of basic tools and the precision of her hands, Kate carves out exemplary pieces of art consisting of pots that culminate into fangled creations, using bright vibrant colours with crystalline surfaces.

Her fascination for India can be traced back to the time when she first landed here in 1986. Decades and 20 visits later, the renowned British potter continues to believe that the country has upped her energy levels. As they say, it is the little things that matter, and in her case, the saying stands true, quite literally.

She fondly recalls how a few handpicked possessions such as giant tamarind pots, plastic toys bought from roadside stalls, along with Chola bronzes and Mughal flowers continue to form a special collection that she cherishes. While the age-old traditions and the simple ways of life in India have always marvelled her, she confessed how the country is the magic in her life has left a profound impact on her family as well.

From long-term projects to smaller works of art, Kate has been there and done it all. With studios in London, Barcelona and Provence, Kate works along with a team of four, creating projects for the rich and famous as well as for charitable purposes.

Accrediting the commercial success of her endeavor to Adrian Sasoon, Kate states that it is indeed imperative to sell her work, which Sasoon does with great diligence and integrity. Her work has made it to majestic exhibitions in and around New York and Europe, involving the world’s most important dealers.

With her state-of-art pieces that transcend the ordinary, the ceramicist has her works featured in over 40 museums across the globe. From her work to her life, simplicity has been the way. A discerning traveller and a keen observer, Kate believes in the healing aura of art and sketches, and contributes greatly to placing her works of arts at hospitals, parks, schools and libraries.

With a vision to spread joy and a sense of optimism among the buyers of her works, she hopes to continue touching the emotions of millions across the globe through her art.