Kip O’Krongly is a ceramic artist and instructor living in Northfield, MN who earned her BA from Carleton College in 2001. In 2014, O’Krongly was the recipient of the prestigious $25,000 McKnight Artist Grant at the Northern Clay Center for her environmentally-themed pottery.
“Through everyday ceramic pieces I can subtly, and even a little subversively, explore my interest in issues surrounding food production, transportation, energy use and climate change…” “I continue to discover a seemingly endless string of food and energy related books, documentaries, articles, podcasts and radio stories that spur new directions as I reinterpret what I see and hear into ceramic objects. I deeply appreciate the process of visually wrestling with contemporary challenges on beautiful daily-use ceramics – creating functional art that by its very nature compels repeated scrutiny.”
O’Krongly begins with a sketch of the drawing which she transfers to on the clay surface. She uses the sgraffito technique to remove the surface color, revealing the clay underneath, and the ultimate image. You can learn more about her process on her website here.
O’Krongly cleverly exploits the repetitive-use nature of functional pottery to subject her audience to progressive themes using this hippie-propaganda method. Her topical modern imagery, typically centered around food production (appropriately), is presented to the user with each new meal. It forces the user to question what they are consuming, each bite revealing more of the image, and becoming more unavoidable. It’s sad though, the full image is only fully revealed after the final bite is taken, too late to fix any regrets of sustainable practice… A subversive metaphor for the world’s future?
O’Krongly is a ceramic artist shifting thoughts through pottery. Tell us what you think of her pottery in the comments!