Kate BiderbostChicago, Illinois

Red Lodge Clay Center, Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2009

Kate Biderbost received her BFA from Michigan State University and her MFA from Indiana University. She is currently an Advanced Lecturer at Loyola University in Chicago and maintains a home studio.

Kate exhibits her work throughout the country, and she has been published multiple times. Kate makes art for the table, and she is committed to teaching the value of handmade objects through self-expression, good design and craft.

While sitting at home in a chair my grandfather made, I find myself stroking the arm ends where he cut the wood.  I’m particularly drawn to them because they are not quite cut at the same angle.  While my fingers make note of these details, I’m reminded of a particular memory from my childhood.  I remember standing in my grandfather’s kitchen, watching him balance a plate up and around his body, while he boasted that he was in the Olympics for plate balancing.  For that brief moment I was with my grandpa again.

Using and surrounding myself with things created by people I know gives me a tremendous amount of joy and comfort.  I believe the main reason why I am committed to hand made objects is because I’ve seen and interacted with them my entire life. Simply, handmade objects have played a critical role in my earliest memories.  My father is a photographer, my mother a quilter.  The beds in our home are decorated with quilts, while the walls are a showcase for photographs.  I believe handmade objects, pots in particular, function much like a photograph.  They may conjure up memories of people and places, leaving the user with a lasting impression and a permanent connection that is heightened through interaction.  It’s this connection that can be formed through handmade objects which is at the core of my inspiration.  My hope is that this connection allows a dialogue to exist between the maker and the user.   An open dialogue creates a greater understanding of the time and effort put into a handmade object thereby speaking to the value, which so often may be lacking in our fast-paced lives.  This value is represented through creating something primarily for the purpose of another’s appreciation.

Whether together or through an object relationships can be formed and kept.  The most valuable thing life has to offer is our relationships with other people.  My hope is that my work creates a legacy, which helps maintain these connections and values.