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Katie Gruzd

I first learned to throw and create ceramics at Loyola University New Orleans as an elective during my final year of undergraduate studies in Political Science. I found artistic release from my rigorous academic studies in the ceramics studio, and over the course of two semesters fell in love with ceramic arts. My professor once told our class that "life is short, so surround yourself with beautiful things", and what better way to do so than by creating a well-designed, beautiful, and functional piece of pottery that can be used everyday to eat or drink or throw change into or build bouquets with or house your plants in? It was 2013 when my professor instilled that thought into my mind, and I've been working to surround myself with beautiful, handmade ceramic things ever since.// For my day job I put that BA in Political Science (and an MA in sustainable development) to good use working as a Campaign Manager for a coalition of non-profits in New Orleans called RESTORE the Mississippi River Delta, where I manage our portfolio of work and report on our primary grant. RESTORE the MRD works together to re-connect the Mississippi river to Louisiana's coastal wetlands in order to create a sustainable ecosystem, promote economic development, and protect our coastal communities' culture, livelihoods, and history.// During most of my spare time you can find me covered in mud in my happy place: the ceramics studio. I am lucky enough to create in my home neighborhood at the Mid City Art Studios where I share a space with four other incredibly inspiring female artists. I primarily focus on making functional pieces (think: bowls, mugs, planters, vases, candle holders) and am forever practicing making identical sets. Most of my aesthetic inspiration is drawn from my home - New Orleans, the Mississippi River, and Louisiana. I am also especially drawn to mixing patterns, colors and minimalist/maximalist styles. Since I am an after-hours potter and mostly am able to get into the studio after work and on the weekends, I produce a pretty small body of work and feel like I'm just finding my own style to define my work. At the moment you can find photos of my work on Instagram @ceramicsbelowsealevel where I'm happy to chat about available pieces or potential customs via DM. In 2020, I plan to create an online space to showcase my work and eventually sell it - so, more to come!// Thank you for your time and interest in these 'lil creations I'm able to translate from random ideas in my head to hand-thrown clay forms that end up as real pieces of usable art for y'all - which mean so much to me!!!
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