Karen Downing

Karen throws carefully considered porcelain pots for everyday use. Her forms are elegant yet robust: these are pots to be held,  filled, drunk out of and eaten from. The purposeful use of one material (porcelain), a single creamy white glaze, a deliberately restricted vocabulary of form and the process of repetition throwing combine to create both unity and diversity in her work. Together these limited elements become a multitude of subtle variations that slowly evolve and are quietly, but constantly, refined and distilled.


The pots are hand thrown and, although ‘repeats’ are thrown, the nature of porcelain, and of the throwing and firing processes, ensures that no two pots are ever exactly the same. Subtle variations in size, form and glaze finish are inevitable, as well as desirable, and give each pot its own particular nuance and character.


Karen gained a BA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, served apprenticeships with Jill Hinckley in Washington and Tom White in Massachusetts, then worked at Penland School of Crafts (North Carolina) before settling in the UK.  Her work has been widely exhibited in the UK and also in Europe, Japan and the USA. She now lives and works in the Brecklands of Norfolk.