Karen Steenbergen

Karen Steenbergen is a ceramic artist and teacher and Community Arts Coordinator, under business name KARst Ceramics working on the surf coast, who recently returned from a residency at Guldagergaard, International Ceramics Centre in Denmark.

Karen has been producing and working with clay for over 15 years now from her new home studio in Torquay.

Karen enjoys using clay as the medium and process for improving the mental health of individuals and local community groups through connection and self expression.

Karen has participated in all our annual group ceramic exhibitions: Inward Bound 2020, Home 2021, Built 2022, Connection 2023 and Habitat 2024. 

Inspiration for her current works:

‘Silos of Sand’ and “Ripples & Stones”

These were inspired by the beautiful tall Silo’s coming to life across our farming country, being used as canvases for contemporary art. This together with inspiration from the constantly changing tide lines you see in the sand on surf beaches and the soft colours of the summer sun setting over the sand, bring the bush and sea together harmoniously.

‘Silos of Sand’, pieces are made from translucent southern ice porcelain with different combinations of coloured stains mixed into the clay before it is ‘printed’.  Each piece is calm, warm, bespoke and beautifully unique.

“Ripples and Stones” shares much of above in development but the inspiration was gained from walks along the local waterways in Angelsea,

Milk Shed and Milk Country Series

Memories of growing up on a Gippsland dairy farm are brought together with a homage to our farmers in this series of handbuilt stoneware in tactile grey and luscious pasture green glaze.

The effort the farmers go to in supplying our milk we so unthinkingly request in our “daily latte’ should not be taken for granted.

A new glaze, a journey of discovery and progression of the Milk Shed series inspired by my hometown hills.

Rust Series

Progressing the previous series, an exploration of the rusty old farm machinery that peppers the farming landscape.

Bushfire Series

The impact on Gippsland and much of Australia by the enormous fires of 2019-2020 really affected all of us in many ways. Here my glaze represents the ash falling on the farming and bushland.

Tree Series

Inspired by the local walks in the Surf Coast National Park observing the gum trees with their peeling, shredding, shrinking bark in its multitude of colours. An extension of the SnowGum Series inspired by the Alpine vegetation of Victoria’s High Country.

Around the Fires Series

With ash collected from the fire pit of The Hive Gallery and many other family and friend during Covid this went into form a new black matte glaze that symbolized the community, and the ways we could safely make connections during recent times, spent more often than not at HOME.

Please note there are many more works to see in the gallery, not featured here so please enquire or visit and enjoy.