From an early age I have always felt the drive to create and make. Growing up, I was encouraged to make personal gifts for parents and relatives rather than buying them. The motivation to craft something by hand has been a part of me throughout my life and has deeply influenced what I perceive of as valuable.
When I was about 8 years old, I took a pottery class with my mom and knew it from then on: Clay resonates deep inside me; it calms me, invites me to contemplate, it acts as a platform for expressing something that lives deep inside.
The medium never stops challenging, prodding continuous learning: it demands constant vigilance, careful timing – the creative process takes place on several planes, scientifically, artistically and intellectually.
The interplay of those facets drives me to try mastering this medium that needs to be relinquished to the fire in order to rise from the ashes and be born into its true form.
While the fire has the power to destroy the fruits of our labour, it also has the ability to transform pleasing objects of artistic expression into fully functional pieces of usable art that become part of daily life and add beauty to our surrounding. Every-day objects can become pieces of art that we cherish while using them, during meals with family and friends or while preparing food. Having made someone’s favourite cup or seeing a platter in use at someone’s house gives me purpose and drives me onwards.
Catharina 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. Children were encouraged to play make belief outside with anything they could find in nature, fresh flowers and vegetables were picked from the garden and home-crafted gifts were encouraged over store-bought items.
Immigrating to Canada at age 19, Catharina started an academic career in English Literature and Spanish, eventually graduating as a teacher with an MA in Applied Psychology. After raising four children and working as a French Immersion Elementary Teacher, Catharina embarked on exploring her passion for clay. She enrolled into the Central Tech Adult Art Program in Toronto to graduate with an general Art Certificate in a variety of art forms of which Ceramics remained her most favoured.
It is the combination of making and the intellectual challenge of mastering clay and glaze technology that holds an ever-increasing fascination for Catharina. Being drawn to functional ceramic objects, she likes to create things that can be useful while making every-day life beautiful. She recognizes that an object as simple as a cup can be highly personal and enter into the most intimate relationship with the user. Making something that becomes someone’s favourite cup to drink from is one of Catharina’s most rewarding outcomes, giving rise to her Leitmotif “Eat from Art”.
Catharina is currently pursuing a BA in Craft and Design with a Specialty in Ceramics at Sheridan College, Oakville Ontario.
Originally a French Immersion Teacher, I have paused my professional career in order 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 functional work to beautify daily life as well as sculptures.
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 Planned and implemented curricula for KG to Grade 6 French Immersion classrooms, writing report cards and participating in school networking projects while successfully performing daily classroom management strategies and communicating effectively with parents.
1993- present Raised 4 children, managed household, children’s school/extracurricular schedules, pursued graduate degrees, designed and implemented house constructions projects.
2010 – ongoing Hosts and organizes several private shows, donating all proceeds to charity.
2014 – ongoing 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” pottery, West 26th St, NY, NY
2010 – 2014 Exhibited work at Central Technical School in several l locations.
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.
2014 Sculpture “life” nominated by Central Tech Art Staff for participation in BMO show.
2014- present 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