Chili Bowl Intern Profile: Katie BosleyMarch 26, 2015
Last month, WSW hosted another incredible Chili Bowl Fiesta. From start to finish, the Rosendale Community Center was brimming with guests enjoying chili in their new bowls, which were made by volunteers, our ceramics staff, and this year’s Chili Bowl intern, Katie Bosley.
We welcome a new ceramics intern each January, who’s responsible for throwing and decorating a huge number of bowls for the Fiesta. This year’s intern, Katie, traveled all the way from Florida to make hundreds of bowls in eight short weeks (all while experiencing her very first Northern winter).
Katie graduated from the University of Florida in December 2014 with a BFA in ceramics, and arrived at WSW less than a month later. Deciding to move was easy, she says.
“I wanted to get within an art community, coming out of school,” Katie explains. “I didn’t want to be on my own right away.” WSW provides a strong sense of community, and the ceramics department is no exception. For several years, Ceramics Studio Manager Ruth McKinney Burket has hosted weekly potluck dinners, followed by an in-studio clay study group.
“It’s another level,” Katie reflects about the Wednesday night group. “We have people who are passionate about making work on the wheel. It’s inspiring.”
Katie’s experience as Chili Bowl intern has been inspiring in other ways, as well. “Making such a massive number of bowls has been a very different mode of working,” she says. “Seeing so many bowls gives me ideas about how to decorate, and different materials to work with, and just all the things you can do with ceramics.”
Katie has never worked on a production scale before, but reflects that the repetitive process was an incredible opportunity to practice her throwing skills. She mentions time and again that focusing on production has been a valuable experience, but she also knows that she’ll continue to explore her own work much more intimately.
“My personal work is really elegant and detailed and tight on craftsmanship,” Katie explains while carving her latest bowl. “I enjoy the process.”
Dedication to precision is evident throughout her work, which combines double-walled forms with elaborate cut-outs and carving. As light shifts and the form moves, the openings offer a variety of different dynamic perspectives. With such a labor intensive process, Katie embraces quality over quantity, and emphasizes the importance of beauty combined with functionality.
“I’d like to make work that people want to use, even if only on special occasions,” she says. “Chili Bowl was really exhilarating because I got to see people use the bowls right away. Normally if you sell your work, you never see what happens to it.”
With Chili Bowl over, Katie has time to focus on personal work and practice her teaching skills. Currently, she’s leading a hand-building course, which is a refreshing change from working on the wheel. The opportunity to teach her own workshop at WSW is especially exciting for Katie, who began college as an art education major.
Katie says, “My passion lies in the making of ceramics, and I want to be able to share that.”
She has shared that passion with all of us during her time here, with both her incredible dedication to Chili Bowl and the continued development of her personal work. Best of luck with your next step, Katie—we’ll all miss you!