Kathryne Koop is a Winnipeg-based potter with over 35 years of professional experience.
The pieces on this site are samples of the work she has made over time. Some of it is unique and no longer available, and some of it, or variations of it, she continues to make and has available. You will find a selection of currently available work in the online store. For enquiries about other pieces that may be available, or custom orders, please use the contact page.
Kathryne Koop lives in Winnipeg and has worked as a full-time potter since 1980 when she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) Degree from the University of Manitoba. The following year, she became a partner in the Stoneware Gallery (a co-operative gallery of fifteen potters) and the Stoneware Studio (a co-operative studio of five potters) where she remains active to this day. Throughout the years she has pursued professional development by attending workshops by other artists, conferences such as NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts), and by participating in residencies at the Banff Center, Haystack in Maine, and the University of Manitoba. She has also taught numerous ceramics classes, and been guest artist in such places as Thunder Bay, Regina, Red Deer, Prince George, and most recently for the Fusion Clay and Glass conference in Peterborough. She has also given presentations in Canada, the U.S.A., and China.
Though Kathryne’s work is always on display at the Stoneware Gallery in Winnipeg, it has also been exhibited in numerous juried, invitational, group and solo shows, both nationally and internationally. Most recently, her piece entitled “Sisters” traveled in an exhibition organized by the three Canadian prairie provinces’ Craft Councils entitled “Prairie Excellence, the Today and Tomorrow of Prairie Fine Craft”, and received an award for the “Best Established Artist” in that exhibition.
Her work has also been seen as far away as Hong Kong and Japan and has been exhibited at NCECA Conferences in both Denver and Minneapolis. It’s also been part of The Gardiner Museum’s traveling group show entitled “On the Table: 100 Years of Functional Ceramics in Canada”, which was displayed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) among other places. Many other curated shows held at the WAG have also included her work of which one was “Clay at the Crossroads: Directions in Contemporary Ceramics”. The Manitoba Craft Council has also had numerous exhibitions which have included Kathryne’s pieces, both as solo shows, and in juried exhibitions.
Koop has been the recipient of several other awards and grants, including the “2010 Senior Craft Grant” from the Manitoba Arts Council. She has received the “Best of Show” in the juried exhibition entitled Heart of the Continent, sponsored by the Manitoba Crafts Council, as well as, the “First Prize” in the national exhibition “The Collection from Maxwell House, Coffee Services”. She has also won “The Marilyn Wolodarsky Levitt Award for Functional Pottery” several times, in The Manitoba Crafts Council’s annual spring exhibitions. Her work can be seen in many ceramic books, publications, and exhibition catalogues, and can be found in several notable collections. These include private, public, business and government collections that include Claridge, General Foods, Signature Craft Shows, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Art Banks of Canada and the Manitoba Arts Council, as well as, the Governments of Canada and Manitoba.
Clay captivated my interest over 35 years ago. The act of taking a soft and malleable material and transforming it into something permanent that is both sculptural and usable, has fueled my passion. Working as a potter with a strong interest in form, I have explored endless approaches to functional objects using inspiration from several sources. I look at diverse aspects of nature, studying the organic shapes, patterns and colour variations found in sources as varied as tulips, cacti, and the blue heron. Incorporating elements from these sources can often inform the shape of a vase or the surface of a bowl, however, it’s their elegance, gestures, and eccentricity I most want reflected in my work. Once an idea is developed, it continues to evolve and inspire new work.
I work primarily with porcelain clay, studying its possibilities and limitations, while embracing its purity in colour and the effect that has on the glazes I choose. My interest has always been to explore different methods of working and thinking, while making objects that are refined and functional, yet spirited. I often create pieces that have been thrown in multiple ways, sometimes upside down or in several sections which are then altered, manipulated, carved and assembled. In this way I create movement that captures some of the making process, animates the form, and breathes life into the finished piece.
Once the work is constructed and initially fired to set the clay, I apply layers of glaze which produce a richness and depth to the surface. It is then fired to 2400*F in a gas reduction kiln, completing the process. When removed, each piece is ready to take on a life of its own, to be seen, to be felt, to be used, and to be contemplated.