Kevin Kowalski was born in raised in Southern California and graduated with a BFA in Ceramics from California State University, Fullerton. He also earned his Master’s in Education from Concordia University, Irvine and teachers Ceramics full time at Esperanza High School in Anaheim, Ca. He lives in Placentia, CA with his wife Abi and two daughters Gemma and Tessa. He also teaches workshops and online classes about his clay process and his work been featured on many blogs and social media accounts including Insider Art, Bored Panda and My Modern Met.
“In my current body of work I am using the methods of Mocha Diffusion and soda firing to create decorative landscapes on my utilitarian pottery. I have developed depth in each landscape composition through layers of texture, design and atmosphere.
With references to Mochaware of the early 1800’s my dendritic tree decoration is a dominant feature in each landscape. The unique pattern of foliage is achieved in most cases through a brush stroke of chrome green oxide with an organic acidic mixture on top of a fresh layer of liquid clay. The addition of the sun or full moon is a way I add a focal point and create a sense of balance and depth in the composition. The sky and atmosphere in the landscape is created by flashing slips and soda vapor which is reminiscent of dusk and dawn.
After falling in love with the rich and vibrant surfaces of Gail Nichol’s soda fired work and learning about Mocha Diffusion decoration while watching a Robin Hopper video I knew the two techniques could work great together. Nichols and Hopper are wonderful examples of artists using traditional methods and creating innovation in their work. This inspired me to bring together the two methods of Soda firing and Mocha Diffusion to innovate these traditional surface treatments in my work.”