Kathy Jeffers has worked professionally as a potter and clay sculptor since 1970. She received a BA in music in Virginia, but soon moved to New York City for the culture, art and diversity it has to offer. At first trying pottery as a hobby, she quickly found herself teaching classes and selling her work throughout the Northeast. Her clay work, which has a whimsical and sculptural quality, has also included commercial sculpting for 3-D illustration for advertising, and sculpting of prototypes for the toy, gift, and cosmetic industries. She maintains a pottery studio in Woodbourne, NY, where she also sells her pottery and teaches classes. She is part owner of Catskill Artists Gallery, which is a gallery without walls that participates in craft fairs and exhibits in Sullivan County, NY and in the greater NY area.
My fascination with clay started as a very young girl, playing with mud at the bottom of the driveway. It was rekindled in a senior year elective pottery class in college when I suddenly realized what I was good at and from then on it has been all about clay. I worked in NYC for many years teaching and selling pottery, then as a 3_D clay illustrator, and then as an industrial prototype sculptor mostly for the toy companies. I now find myself back to the beginning—making and selling pots and teaching pottery classes. The many years of clay work have given me lots of time to develop my ability to see form and also skills in handling clay in ways that most would find too difficult to attempt. I would describe my work as unique, whimsical and lyrical.
My recent fascination with vintage doilies, lace and table coverings that are crocheted or tatted became a way for me to add a wonderful decorative and textural element to my work. I press them into the clay when it is still in the soft flat slab stage, then with the impression that is left I use special glazing techniques which I have developed to enhance the gorgeous patterns that are left in the clay. I love the feeling that in this fast paced, mechanized, digitized world we live in, I am preserving and honoring a practically lost traditional art form that was done by women in our past, since the doily threads themselves will eventually deteriorate and be lost. By preserving them in clay they are preserved virtually forever (providing the pottery doesn’t get broken!).
I am also fascinated with the spiral shape, one of my favorite shapes that is found in nature and in ancient symbolism, which pops up often in my designs. This image may show up on handles on my trays, as stamped designs on the surface of a mug, or even as a whole piece of pottery formed out of spiraled coils.
My work is all high fired to approximately 2340 degrees (cone 9-10). I work in mostly a fine, light colored stoneware clay and sometimes in porcelain. All my work is food friendly. Glazes are all non toxic, and pieces are dishwasher and microwave safe and the high temperatures to which I fire make them more chip, crack and break resistant than average pottery.