Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2011, (AIA) 2016
Originally from Tucson, Arizona, Alex Kraft received her BFA in ceramics and her BS in art education from Northern Arizona University in 2002. She completed her MFA from the University of Montana in 2006. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and participated in artist in residence programs including the following. She was a short-term artist in residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana, spent a year in residence at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, was a short-term artist in residence at the Clay Studio of Missoula, a yearlong artist in residence at the Roswell Artist in Residence Program, a Kiln God resident at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, a short term resident and later an inaugural writing forum participant at Red Lodge Clay Center, and a resident at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center, Denmark. She is a practicing studio artist with experience in writing, and curating, including a large-scale co-curating and social media project. 50 Women: A Celebration of Women’s Contribution to Ceramics was exhibited during NCECA 2016 at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, MO. Previously a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico – Gallup; she is currently an Assistant Professor and oversees the ceramics facility at the University of North Georgia – Dahlonega. More information and images of her work are available at alexkraftart.com.
I create forms that are individuals unto themselves, exuding their own life force. Floral and corporal systems are departure points for these imagined life forms and their environments. The forms are a revisualization of internal and external structures belonging to animal and plant bodies. To clarify, I see animals and plants made of matter (muscles, bones, stems, branches, etc.) and life energy. These material structures and internal energy are the grounds for the tangible forms I create. The life energy expressed in these forms is enhanced by surface treatment. By depicting physicality through organic form, by varying surface texture and design, and by incorporation of sugary vivid color, works are imbued with primordial content exuding their own life force.
My current work employs layered multi-temperature oxidation glaze firings. I have developed a brightly colored, multi-surfaced glaze palette that unifies the formal qualities of my work with its content. I incorporate slip trailing, mishima, image transfer, non-fired techniques and other decorative treatments that further encourage a wide variety of surfaces.
Concepts relating to the internal self also become evident in my two-dimensional and mixed media works. Craft as art and the DIY movement are referenced through the use and handling materials in these works. I work in a variety of materials in order to convey a particular concept or idea.
I also produce functional ware. I use a mid-range porcelain and incorporate slip trailing, mishima, image transfer and other decorative treatments that encourage a wide variety of surfaces. Through drawing in relation to form I have developed a personal iconography that extends to archetypal symbol. Pattern and decoration have seeped into my sculptural forms by way of this venture. It is exciting for me to see a relationship grow between these two seemingly separate endeavors.