There's something undeniably soothing about seeing ceramic artist Kim Westad at work in her studio. "I love the idea and the process of making the work," says the New York-based Westad, who describes throwing clay as being 'meditative' for herself -- from the physicality of sitting at the pottery wheel to feeling her hands within the clay.
Westad begins by mixing new and recycled clay in a pug mill to get the material to the right consistency and to get the air bubbles out. Then she begins to throw the clay by starting out with a refined form -- or cone shape as we would call it -- which she explains to be the most important part of the ceramic-making process. If the base shape isn't perfect, no glazing or texturing will make up for the resulting poorly sculpted piece. Fortunately, Westad avoids such a fate, producing simple yet refined ceramic pieces that have very curvy silhouettes.
The process for Westad is delicate yet precise and it's a rare treat for us to watch her hands create one of her ceramic bowls from start to finish. And what we especially like about her pieces is that you can really see her hand in every piece, which are all different. 'I definitely see them as little characters because no two are exactly alike. Some are a little bit shorter and some are a little bit rounder...almost like little animated things," she says.
To see more of Westad's work, visit her website.