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Artist: Kat Wheeler


Kat Wheeler, CORNWALL

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Kat Wheeler studied ceramics at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee. She completed a semester study at the Australia National University in 2007, before earning her B.F.A. in 2008. Kat moved to St Ives to work at the Leach Pottery in 2009, eventually becoming the Deputy Studio Manager from 2014-2019. Now, she works fulltime in her studio at the Gaolyard Studios in St Ives, Cornwall. In 2022 Kat's body of work was made at Jeff Oestreich’s studio in the leadup to the 2022 St Croix Valley Pottery Tour. in 2023 the batch of work was made on a residency at Township Ten in North Carolina.


My work represents a blend of influences and life experiences. Most prominently, these include my American background and developmental years spent at the Leach pottery in England. However, I have also been influenced by a short time studying in Australia and working in Japan.
The work that I make is largely utilitarian and decorative. It is thrown on the wheel using a dark, groggy clay. Each piece is decorated with slips using a variety of techniques including hakeme, scrafitto, slip trailing and layering thick slip to create texture. My favourite qualities of the material are most present while the clay is still wet. In my treatment of the surfaces, I try to accentuate those qualities, while working harmoniously with the form. The work is then glazed simply and fired to a high temperature.


Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ceramics
Cum Laude
The Appalachian Center for Crafts at Tennessee Technological University,
Cookeville, TN
Semester Study Abroad, Ceramics
The Australia National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Professional Experience
2019 to 2021
Residency Coordinator, Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
2014 to 2019
Deputy Studio Manager, Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
3 month residency, Jeff Oestriech Pottery, Taylors Falls, MN
3 month residency, Hamada Pottery, Mashiko, Japan
Production Potter, Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Potter, Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall
Studio Assistant, Judy Brater and Peter Rose, Knoxville, TN

Pioneers: 101 Years of Leach Pottery, Court Barn Museum of Craft and Design, Chipping Campden
100 Years of Leach and Hamada Influence, Clay College, Stoke-On-Trent
100 Years of Leach and Hamada Influence, Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Conversation Piece, House of Prints, online exhibition
Made for the NHS, House of Prints, online exhibition
Kat Wheeler: New Beginnings, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
The Leach Pottery: Living the Legacy, Thrown Contemporary, London
Celebrating 10 Years, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
St Croix Valley Pottery Tour, Jeff Oestreich Pottery, Taylors Falls, MN
Clay in Practice: The Leach Studio, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Japanese Connections, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Fire it Up, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Kat Wheeler: A Leach Potter in Japan, The Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Hamada Shoji Noborigama Project, Shoji Hamada Memorial Sankokan
Museum, Mashiko, Japan
5 Years On, Leach Pottery, St Ives, Cornwall
Toko Gallery, Mashiko, Japan
St Ives Potters, Craft in the Bay, Cardiff, Wales
SMG, Tokyo, Japan
TACA Spring Craft Fair, Emerging Artist Award, Nashville, TN
B.F.A Group Exhibition, Best of Show, Cookeville, TN
Kat Livesey, Planet of the Grapes, Dalton, GA
Kat Livesey, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Tea for Too Many, B.F.A Thesis Exhibition, Appalachian Center for Crafts,
Smithville, TN
The Admiral Legacy: A Retrospective of Farragut High School Alumni,
Farragut High School, Knoxville, TN
Soda-Salt National, The Clay Studio of Missoula, Missoula, MT

Emerging Makers Award, Short list and presentation, International Ceramics
Festival, Aberystwyth Wales

Grants and Fellowships
Grants for the Arts, Arts Council
Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
John Anson Kittredge Educational Fund

Sherman Hall, “Undergrad Showcase”, Ceramics Monthly, September, 2008

Current Gallery Representation

Clay Akar, Iowa City, IA

The Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall
The Northern Clay Center, Minneapolis, MN
St Ives Ceramics, St Ives, Cornwall
Court Barn Gallery, Chipping Campden

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