Katalin Szallas – Ceramics

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I enjoy all types of art but came to realise I am a 3D artist. I love working with clay. I love the material, its flexibility and how easily it can be manipulated. I watched potters as a child and was always fascinated by the way they controlled a lump of clay on the wheel.  I also found other potters’/artists’ works very inspiring. I like flicking through art books from time to time just to remind myself that an artist can reinterpret an old idea and produce a new and exciting piece of work.  Sometimes I just play with the clay; experimenting brings new ideas.  Inspiration is important but so is work. It’s only through work and experimentation that I can learn the skills that allow me to follow my inspirations.

Quite often I feel frustrated because I find that I can’t keep up with the ideas I have in my mind. I want to explore every aspect of the idea but there’s never enough time. Sometimes there does come a point when it suddenly all becomes very boring and I have to stand back, have a break and a look at my works with a fresh eye. I always liked drawing and I enjoyed art lessons at school and went to study art at college so I guess it has always been there.  It just took time to find the right medium.

Partly because I also do small scale production throwing, I believe it’s important to have the technical ability to repeat works. However, with most of my work I don’t really make the distinction though clearly some are more generic than others. I always try and improve on things I’ve made before so I still see them as one offs.  I don’t like selling my work because I’m not a good salesman and I find the process a bit depressing, though I do find the idea that someone appreciates my work enough to want to buy it very rewarding.

Being a craftsman, I’m not very optimistic. I think our generation is very spoilt with mass-production. Most people don’t realise how much work, effort and cost are involved in art and handmade products.  I’d like to be able to keep producing my work without worrying about finances and selling them.  I would love to try sculpture with metal and stone.

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