Karla Rivera is a ceramic artist born and raised in Mexico City, where she obtained her Bachelors in Food Chemistry.
After some travelling she moved to Hamilton Ontario. At this point she started to listen to her artistic voice and got involved in the world of ceramics. In 2013 she enrolled in Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario in the Craft and Design – Ceramic program where she is currently in her final year.
Karla’s work consists of functional and sculptural ceramics. She is interested in forms that make connections between elements of nature such as the wind, the shape of a mountain and sand. She likes to play with the forms and functions of objects that can serve more than one purpose.
As a child, I spent a lot of time with the women in my family. My great-grandmother was a pastry chef, and well-known in our community for her very large and elaborate cakes. I clearly remember her preparing the fondant from scratch, weighing the ingredients, kneading the paste, then forming it into in a huge, decorated thing. She even used plaster molds to shape parts of the cake. I also grew up surrounded by functional and decorative ceramics that my aunt made. These pieces would be used at breakfast time or to hold a nice bouquet of flowers. The ambitious work of these two women largely influenced my decision to become a ceramist.
My work consists of functional and sculptural ceramics. I am interested in forms that make connections between elements of nature such as the wind, the shape of a mountain, sand. I play with the forms and functions of objects that can serve more than one purpose. I choose to fire in salt kilns because I like to leave something to the randomness of the flame. My hope is that the viewer feels invited to explore the entire object. I want every side to offer a surprise.
When I work in clay there are little marks that the whole process leaves behind. I really like them because they intimately describe the experience of making. Most of my work is made by throwing – this creates the first of many more marks. I cut and alter the forms, accumulating more marks, and more – until multiple firings have the final say.
I’m not making cakes, but sometimes I feel like my grandmother – trying to make objects that stretch beyond my expectations.