With friendly little signs reading things such as, "Free hug with every mug," and a feed inundated with positive vibes and handmade wares, we really couldn't ask for more than what this girl has to offer. We love Kira North's minimalistic approach, bright smile, the artistic drive. She is, in her own words, always falling in and out of love with different visions and looking for the freedom to pursue her work. Here at AMACO, we feel extremely blessed to be part of her artistic journey. No matter how subtle the differences, the intentionally imperfect lines and hand drawn patterning makes Kira's work so homey; you can truly see the care she takes in creating and decorating each piece. Her individual touch is apparent on all the wares coming from her studio, ensuring all her pieces are just as unique as Kira herself.
How did you come to be interested in working with clay?
I graduated with a degree in Art Education and was expected to take a ceramics class. I was intimidated so much by the medium, I held off until the last possible moment to pick a class, which ended up being wheel throwing my junior year. I was awful at it first…so bad that it was suggested I drop the class and try again another time or switch to hand building. Determined to succeed (aka make something survive the many variables from start to finish), I invested every free moment I had to throwing. I ended the semester with an A in the class and a love for clay and throwing, which was a bit unfortunate because I wasn’t able to take any more classes before graduating (or switch majors/declare a minor). However, there was thankfully a ceramics club I was able to join allowing me to continue working with support! I’ve been throwing and making messes ever since!
What inspires your work?
This is a hard one, as I don’t know that I could pinpoint something specific. I aim to live a minimalist lifestyle and like to think function and my geometric and line designs pull from that.
What’s your favorite thing about clay?
Clay is magic and it's humble. Its one of the most common of Earth's materials, as well as such an influential component to so many events of the human development. People have been working with clay for thousands of years, doing the exact same thing I’m doing. That to me is really special.
What has been the most challenging part of pursuing ceramics?
Not enough hours in the day mixed with my playful personality! I get so many ideas, but I also get distracted beat bopping on to something else. I’ll be out with friends or on a bike ride and see, feel, hear something that I think I’d like to incorporate into my work then forget about it. Or something else would override it when I get to the point of applying it/trying it out. I’m still working on constructively managing this aspect of my process.
Which AMACO products do you always find yourself going back to? How do these products speak to your work?
Definitely the Velvet Underglazes paired with the Sahara High Fire (Zinc Free) clear glaze. They both offer so many options both on and off a piece of pottery. I’m able to completely change the energy and feel of a form just from a simple switch or addition of whichever products I'm using. As I said earlier, I’m a minimalist, so it fits the function and personal philosophy being able to have endless options and variety with even a select amount of product.
Who was your childhood hero?
I really loved the Powerpuff Girls, Bubbles to be specific.
You find a genie lamp and are granted three wishes: what are they? (Play by the rules: no bringing people back from the dead, no making people fall in love, no killing people, no asking for more wishes)
1. To always have the most perfect avocado whenever I want
2. For people to know and give unconditional love
3. To always have perfectly wedged clay (without me having to wedge it or reclaim it)
What element do you most closely identify with?
The element of surprise. But I asked my husband and he said it would be hydrogen because I’m small, powerful and simple.
When you aren’t making art, how do you spend your time?
Loving and laughing with my husband, growing flowers to give away, playing my ukulele, watching the moon and wondering when I’ll be able to look for seashells again.