The first time we saw one of these delicately delicious drip pieces come across our feed, we had to stop and get a better look. Glaze sometimes tends to have a mind of its own, and Cate Brus-Austin definitely uses it to her advantage and the result is something reminiscent of Julia Galloway's work. The juxtaposition of her structured, geometric line work with the free-flowing quality of her top glazes makes for pieces that have something to offer visually both at a distance and up close. Cate's appreciation for detail as well as for the subtle imperfections present in handmade wares lends itself to a collection inundated with intentional, delicate details and organic surprises.
How did you come to be interested in working with clay?
I took a few classes throughout high school, but I really fell in love when I took a one day a week class at the Red Lodge Clay Center the summer after my senior year. I would drive the hour from my hometown for classes and there was something about being surrounded by ceramic artists pursuing clay with such drive that I could not stop after that.
What inspires your work?
I look at Islamic tile work, quilts, and stained glass windows for inspiration of shape. Any radial pattern that catches my eye I try to replicate onto a three dimensional surface.
What’s your favorite thing about clay?
My favorite thing about clay is the endless possibilities. I find something new with every interaction; I will never stop playing with clay.
What has been the most challenging part of pursuing ceramics?
The most difficult thing for me is time management. Until my work in clay becomes self-sustaining, I have a day job, so sometimes I have to plan my weeks in advance and really commit to long nights in the studio.
Which AMACO products do you always find yourself going back to? How do these products speak to your work?
The AMACO Velvet Underglazes are a favorite of mine; I use them daily. My work has very precise patterns and clean lines. Without the Velvets' high quality pigmentation and its consistency, I would not be able to achieve the result I am looking for.