Karen Steenbergen is a ceramic artist and teacher and Community Arts Coordinator, under business name KARst Ceramics working in Melbourne’s West and on the surf coast, who recently returned from a residency at Guldagergaard, International Ceramics Centre in Denmark.
Karen has been producing an working with clay for over 15 years and has recently moved her home studio from Melbourne to 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.
Her most recent Exhibitions with us have been INWARD BOUND and HOME
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.
‘Silo’s of Sand’ shapes are designed on a 3D Modeler computer program and produced using a custom made 3D clay printer, (made by my very talented partner Lars Pehrsson). The printer produces a continuous coil of clay of various thicknesses.
‘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 my walks along the local waterways in Angelsea,
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.
Milk Country Series
A new glaze, a journey of discovery and progression of the Milk Shed series inspired by my hometown hills.
Progressing the previous series, an exploration of the rusty old farm machinery that peppers the farming landscape.
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.
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.
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..