Designer Kristina Kotlier Answers Ceramic Wall Art FAQ’s
Who is Kristina?
A staple of the ceramic wall art community, Kristina Arzaga-Kotlier is a strong, expressive designer. Her unique, clean style brings together lights and darks in a creative way. Intentional design is important to her – she involves the artistic and articulated process in her functional works of art. The digital process comes to life with smiling faces, clean lines, and a happy vibe, especially in her ceramic wall art. Bohemian inspirations stem from her work in the Bay Area, where Kristina designed and installed installations at the Oakland Museum.
Holding a B.A. in Interior Design and a Masters in Architecture, she now holds the chair of the AIA National Associates Committee. With ties to both Berkeley and Los Angeles, she brings happiness and sunshine into her pieces, such as her Sunshine Sam Vase. Wescover loves her expertise, so we decided to ask her our firing ceramic wall art questions.
“What is ceramic?”
Ceramic is hardened clay, composed of soft, earthy materials. It is a combination of broken down particles and minerals. Since clay is specific to its origin, it can vary greatly in texture, color, and overall composition. There are three main types of ceramic that clay falls into, depending on where it comes from and its combination of materials: porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware. In my pieces, I use both porcelain and stoneware. Both of these materials need to be baked at over 2000 degrees in order to become hard, finished ceramic objects.
“What are the tools used when creating ceramic wall art?”
The most important and most common tool employed with clay is your hands. There is no better tool than a maker’s own hands and fingers for shaping clay. Sometimes, we use assistance from a pottery wheel to create more symmetrical and round forms. Beyond the wheel, I use sculpting, carving, trimming, and smoothing tools usually made of metal or wood to refine the clay and add details. Aside from classic tools, it is fun to get creative with clay tools, as almost anything from a cheese slicer to a stone can be useful in creating unique designs and functionality.
“How long does the creation process take?”
Clay is a slow medium that can’t be rushed. It needs to dry very slowly to avoid cracks and other mishaps that can occur when the process is hurried. Once something is made, it has to dry until firm so that it can be handled, detailed, smoothed and finished. Next, it’s dried out to a brittle stage called ‘bone dry.’ It becomes very fragile once it has lost all of its moisture.
At this stage a piece goes into the kiln for its first firing. Once it comes out it is called bisques ware and is ready to be glazed. Once glazed, it is fired again. At this point it may be finished, or it may go back into the kiln for a third or even fourth firing if 22k gold lustre or decals are being added to a piece.
A single piece can easily take weeks to complete and can vary drastically due to the weather and humidity, and detailing. Because of the long process, ceramic artists tend to work on many projects at once, filling the free time you have while pieces are drying or firing, with other work. If a piece or installation is large and made of many smaller pieces, it can take months.
“How do you hang ceramic wall art?”
Ceramic wall art is best hung with strong hardware. My favorite right now is a simple brass nail, but there are many suitable options. Because ceramic art can be a bit heavy, it’s most important to make sure that your hardware is properly secured into the wall. Fishing line can also make for a great, invisible way to hang certain pieces. Pieces can be easily moved just like any other art, but it is important to handle it with care, as it can be very fragile.
“How do I care for my ceramic wall art?”
Ceramic art should be dusted, and if needed can be cleaned with a soft, damp towel. As long as it has been fired to a high temperature, ceramic pieces usually do well outside with the elements.
Kristina’s work brings together feelings of classic ease, while managing modernity at the same time. The layers, patterns, and textures are amplified in her clean, ceramic pieces. The pieces featured on Kristina’s Wescover Page will suit any home. Whether you’re looking for classic pieces, refreshing accents, or bohemian ceramic wall art, Kristina Arzaga-Kotlier’s functional art will bring home the missing puzzle piece of style and grace you’ve been longing for.
Ceramic wall art is one that is sure to bring your home, and life, joy. Somehow making both neutral and show-stopping pieces, Kristina’s excellence in design, architecture, and art is not one to be overlooked.
Your home will thank you!