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Katherine Moes Clay Co.

Ceramicist Katherine Moes finds life when working with her hands, which is why even when she's not working with clay in her studio, she's often getting her hands dirty in her garden. She strives to make objects that help make a house a home, crafting each piece with love and care.

A Moment with the Maker

How did you get into ceramics?
My first experience with ceramics was in high school. I took a class every semester I could getting up to Level 4. I loved it but at the time (2003) I didn’t have any exposure to the idea of being a working artist. The only option I saw was becoming an art teacher which I didn’t feel compelled to do. Instead, I got my BSc in Biology and started a family. Fast forward 13 years, I was given a ceramics class as a Christmas present. When my hands touched clay again I was a goner; not only did I still have muscle memory from my high school days but it became art therapy for my worn out soul. I continued to take classes at a local community studio for another year before I started slowly selling ceramics to friends and fellow creatives. 
Where do you draw inspiration from for your pieces?

I currently have two areas of exploration in my work, functional pottery and sculptural work. My functional work inspires to be clean, quiet, simple, and dependable. They are pieces that I use in my own home and have a Swedish influence in their design. My sculptural work is the area of work where I pull in more elements. The silhouettes of my stacking sculptures are from impressions in my mind of rocks being stacked on one another. I tend to be drawn to colors and tones I can find in nature. I will often leave my clay raw to expose the natural beauty of the earthy clay tones. Since I was a kid, I have loved all things Mother Earth so textures and shapes often will come from a special treasure I’ve found on a hike or beach. I am currently feeling very drawn to Japanese ceramic potters. The way they have learned to work with the clay and allow it to have its own presence in a piece is a practice I aspire to. 

Who is one artist/creator, doesn't matter the medium, that you admire and why?

I LOVE Toshiko Takaezu. She was a ceramic artist who helped bring ceramics from the world of functional pottery into a form of artistic expression. Her forms are big, they take up space, and have a soul like presence to them. Her glaze work on the surface are swaths of colors that would allude to landscapes. Takaezu is of Japanese decent and from what I’ve read of her life, lived a beautifully humble life. I’ve never had an emotional reaction to art until I saw her pieces in person. I’m not sure how she put such impact in those pieces but I would love to be able to learn how to give mine even a hint of that. 

Describe your ideal day.

My ideal day would be a sunny Saturday. A morning where I don’t have to rush about getting kids ready for school. Make a nice cup of black tea and have a quiet moment in my living room before the house gets too busy. Walk the dog and somehow not have a messy house to clean. Let’s pretend it’s summer and I have flowers to cut in my garden to make a big bouquet. I’d go for a nice long walk with a friend. Maybe it’s first Friday and I visit Urban Mining with my husband where we look at the new vintage finds. Lastly, I would let myself have some Kansas City BBQ before going home and watching a show with the family.

If you want the ideal studio day it would be a day without an order list. Where I can make the newest curiosity to my mind. Is it a new teapot? A sphere? A coil vase? A yard sculpture? Being able to have a free studio day is the best.

Photo of Katherine Moes in Studio with Ceramic Planters in Background

Liberty, Missouri

Ownership & Values: Woman-Owned