Kathryn FinnertyPleasant Hill, Oregon

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Born and raised in Toronto, Canada she studied Ceramics at the George Brown College of Applied Arts in Toronto from 1984 to 1986 and Sheridan College of Applied Arts in 1986/7. In the fall of 1987 Kathryn moved to Halifax to attend the Nova Scotia College of Arts and Design where she earned her BFA in 1989. She later received her MFA from Louisiana State University in 1993.

From 1993 to 2000 Kathryn taught at a number of institutions, the most recent being the University of Manitoba for 3 years. In addition, she spent 2 years teaching at the Alberta College of Art and Design and in 1997/98 she was a Visiting Artist at Ohio State University, Ohio University and at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.

In the summer of 2000 Kathryn and her husband, Tom Rohr, also a potter, moved to Oregon to build Pleasant Hill Pottery and focus on the practice of making pots.

I am drawn to the historical traditions of European decorative ceramics. My work is ornately decorated with surface patterns and images integrated into the form of each piece. Earlier work focused on patterns and ornamentation that defined form with this decoration. My concentration was with a close-up, intimate, and confined sense of space much like the spaces that I physically inhabited living in a city. Moving 6 years ago from an urban center to acreage in central Oregon has expanded my perspective and presented me with the opportunity to discover a natural world outside of my previous daily experience. From my studio windows I witness a pastoral landscape particular to the Northwest, lush and green, wet and moist. There are quail living in our hedge-row, starlings nesting in the eaves of our barn, hawks that soar over our pasture and the owls that hoot from the woods at dusk. I see the coyotes cross the fields on the edge of our property hunting for vermin, hummingbirds flutter in our garden in search of nectar and a Great Heron resides in our pond in the summer months. All of this delights and nourishes me daily and I have found it impossible to resist the tug to draw on this abundance for inspiration in my creative process. This landscape has found a way to impose itself into the existing framework, drawing my attention and the viewer’s eye deeper into the pieces.