Featured Artist | Cathy Broski

Safe Passage

Our final artist feature of the 2017 Winter Exhibit is an interview with Kansas City ceramicist Cathy Broski. Broski’s work will be on display through Saturday, and you may have already admired it if you’ve passed by the gallery windows or visited this month. 

Reeves: Your process – creating form, texture, and variegation of color – seems essential to the impact of your pieces. Could you describe your method and how you developed it? 

Broski: My surfaces reflect the love I have for found objects. I find them attractive because of the wear and the marks of their journeys. This is the feel I strive to achieve on my surfaces. To accomplish this, I use a layering technique. I carve or texture the surface and let it dry. The base colors are applied and fired. Once the first firing is complete, I apply and wipe off a combination of terra sigliattas, slips, stains and glazes, then fire again. This process is repeated until I achieve the desired effect. I developed this over time through trial and error, as well as some happy mistakes. 

Reeves: I see a recurring reference to protection and guidance in your work. I’m wondering about your personal connection to these ideas. Are you a protector, and do you have a protector? 

Broski: As we go through life there are certain people who become mentors or guardians. My work focuses on the inner strengths we gain over time to become those things for ourselves as well as those we love. I also believe, without being religious, in a higher power. 

Reeves: The dog can be such a layered symbol. What are some of the qualities or ideas to which you allude with your dogs? 

Broski: I use the dog as a metaphor for the qualities of unconditional love and loyalty. These are things I look for in the people I surround myself with. Not to mention how it can lift one’s spirit to see how much fun a dog can have at any given moment. 

Reeves: What influences and inspires you as an artist? 

Broski: As I have said, found object play a big role in this, but also nature. I enjoy the patterns, textures and colors found in nature.  As far as artists who inspire me, well I could list a whole tribe of people. But people who achieve the unachievable, and those who do truly selfless acts inspire me the most. 

Reeves: What is your “studio quirk”? 

Broski: I meditate first thing each day. Is that a quirk?