Growing up in the rural area among fields, rocks, lakes and trees, I now work in a large urban centre, immersed in concrete and bombarded with a plethora of media. I find my head space oscillating between these poles, my work striving to be a coupling of both, inviting the viewer to contemplate a piece of earthiness within the context of a fabricated object. We need nature to regenerate our soul and culture to challenge our minds.
Under the umbrella of functionality, three concepts have focussed my recent work: Nonconformity, Rocks and Juxtaposition. Using hammers and sandblasters in ceramic work opens the door to new processes with unconventional results. My work combines craggy rocks, engineered porcelain, bloated stones, glazed surfaces and shards of screen-printed newspaper articles about earth and environment related issues. The meaning is created in a tension that I see as the natural vs the refined. What is nature’s place in our urban, cultured lives? How has culture and tradition changed over time? Where is the healthy balance between nature and culture and how can we maintain it? I mix fragments of culture and craggy nature to build objects that tell a story to their human observer.
Catharina grew up in a rural part of northern Germany, close to the East German border. In Canada she pursued an academic career in English Literature, Spanish and an MA in Applied Psychology. After raising four children while teaching French Immersion Elementary, Catharina went to explore her passion for art at the Central Tech Adult Art Program in Toronto. A love affair with clay led her to become a full-time student at Sheridan College. grew up in northern Germany in a quiet, rural area close to the East German border where natural materials played an important role in every day life.
It is the interplay of crafting by hand and the intellectual challenge of mastering clay and glaze technology that poses a constant fascination. The combining of unconventional materials in a variety of ceramic processes yields fascinating transformations of materials and forms. Catharina strives to innovate, exploring unusual ways to manipulate clays, adding alternate materials and manipulating glazes. Using a variety of firing techniques, the effects of heat and open fire play an ultimate role in creating new and unusual surfaces. While also being drawn to functional ceramic objects, she likes to create objects that have a specific or suggested usefulness and contribute to the beautification of every-day life.
Catharina has recently graduated with a BA in Craft and Design with a Specialty in Ceramics from Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario.
Originally a French Immersion Teacher, a change in course has led me to pursue ceramic studies at Sheridan College. I am passionate about my craft and the complexities of ceramic processes and materials. My practice encompasses material exploration of low to high fire clays and glazes in electric and atmospheric kilns, hand-building, wheel-throwing and slip-casting techniques in the quest to make unusual functional work to beautify daily life.
2017 Spent 3 months abroad in Germany studying and working with three different studio potters.
2012 – 16 Planned and delivered clay classes for children aged 5-12 in a variety of school settings to increase children’s 3D modeling skills, provide an alternate art experience and contribute to children’s appreciation of school activities, as reported by teachers and students.
2013 – 2014 Delivered and planned therapeutic clay classes for adults at the Centre Francophone de Toronto to provide art therapy and foster personal accomplishment to patients undergoing psychotherapy, increasing patient’s recovery and feeling of self-worth.
2005 – 2015 Taught KG to Grade 6 French Immersion at TDSB
1993 – present Raised 4 children, pursued graduate degrees, designed and implemented house constructions projects.
2018 Impact Art Show, Neilson Park Creative Centre
2018 Breakthrough Exhibit by Fusion, The Ontario Clay and Glass Association
2018 Toronto Outdoor Art Show
2018 Sheridan College Graduation Exhibition at the Gardiner Museum, Award Winner
2018 Class Graduation Exhibit at the Gardiner Museum
2018 Selected for Sheridan College student showcase
2017 Participant in student exhibit “Made in Canada” at the Gardiner Museum
2017 Selected for “Crafting the Future” National Student Exhibition for Canada 150, OCAD U
2010 – now Hosts and organizes several private shows, donating all proceeds to charity.
2014-17 Exhibited several works in the gallery and display cases on Sheridan Campus.
2014 Participated in the Fusion Clay and Glass show at Wychwood Barns, Toronto.
2014 Exhibited work at “La Mano” clay studio, West 26th St, NY, NY
2013 Exhibited work at “Who Art Thou” art show
2010 -14 Exhibited work at Central Technical School.
2018 Winner of the Gardiner Museum Award
2016 Crack Pot Student Award rewarded by the Ceramic Faculty of Sheridan College.
2015 Peter’s Valley Summer Scholarship awarded by the Ceramic Faculty, Sheridan College
2014 Sculpture “life” nominated by Central Tech Art Staff for participation in BMO show.
2018 Sheridan College Bachelor of Craft and Design, Ceramics
2010 – 2014 Central Technical School, TDSB, Adult Art Diploma,
1993 – 1997 University of Toronto M.A. in Applied Psychology, Ph.D., pending,
1991-1993 University of Toronto Ontario Teacher’s Certificate, Diploma of Child Studies
1986 – 1991 B.A. Honours English, Spanish, Glendon College, York University
Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, In-design, some experience with Solidworks
2015 Workshop: Decorating with Slip, Maureen Mills, Peter’s Valley
2015/11 Workshop: Naked Raku/RakuTechniques, Michael Sheba, Haliburton School of the Arts
LANGUAGES spoken and written: English, French, German, Spanish
Graduating Thesis Document, Sheridan College, Craft and Design, Ceramics