In the Studio :: Kathryn Clark

Contributor post by Lisa Solomon

hello there. i am lucky to be surrounded by makers of all kinds. i feel even luckier that sometimes these artists let me into their studio spaces. i always find studio visits fun.  it's a pleasure to see where things are made. from grand spaces to little nooks, i'm profoundly interested to see how another artist organizes their space and tools. this month instead of my usual make believe collection post - i have the pleasure of showing you the inner sanctum of san francisco artist kathryn clark.

we met online. and lucky for us only a bay of water and short bridge trip separate us. i adore her work [so much so we're scheming up a trade. yay me]. her space and home really reflect her aesthetic sensibilities i think....

she is currently working on a body of work she entitles forclosure quilts. she's actually mapping out areas in which forclosures are happening - depicting them in quilt form. the act of quilting is so rich with history and implications. i find it wonderful that she's taking such a depressing situation and highlighting it in such a nurturing way. a quilt symbolizes memory and warmth - and can often use discarded or scrap fabric. all of these ideas seem to butt up against the staggering loss of homes in quite a poignent way.

i will let the photos of her lovely home and studio space speak for themselves..... and i asked kathryn a series of questions she was gracious enough to answer...

please name 5 artists/creatives/makers that you know personally who you find inspiring
and influencing ? 
And 5 artists/creatives/makers that you don't know but love from afar?

Who I would include besides you? [note: i'm so flattered to be on your list kathryn!] Myrna Tatar, Jaime Rugh, Lari Washburn, Sophie Truong, Rae Dunn

the last thing or two you read that had you marking or dog earring pages?

How to Grow More Vegetables  (I’m in the midst of planning a garden) and Theories and Documents on Contemporary Art (this is a frequent reference book for me)

your top 5 tools/supplies

needle, thread/yarn,, fabric, rotary cutter

a material or idea you most want to try but haven't yet

A body of work around farming. It’s coming next, hopefully!

name a song or album you will grow old with

Cannonball Adderley’s Radio Nights.

favorite beverage? 

Black tea in the AM/green tea in the PM

how many studio spaces have you had ? is this current one your fav ? why or why not ?

About seven over the past twenty-two years, I’ve been in my current studio for the past twelve years. All of my studios have been in my home which I love because I can run downstairs quickly if I have an idea. I love this one because it’s the largest I’ve had and the first time I’ve had an entire floor to myself. I swear we bought this house because of the studio. It’s very quiet and secluded and opens onto our garden. The only negative is that sometimes it feels too dark.

what is crucial for you to have in order for your studio day to be productive?

No computer! I banned it from my studio two years ago. It was the best decision I ever made. I do most  of my computer work upstairs in a tiny office, in the evenings. It allows me to focus my time on creative work without distractions during the day.

do you have a studio routine? if so will you share it with us?

I spend about thirty hours a week in the studio, generally from 9-2:30 M-F. I slip in on the evenings and some weekends and my daughter joins me then which is nice. During the week, I’m usually sewing or piecing work until just before lunch. I take a break to check email and then have a quick lunch with my husband as he often works from home too. Afterwards, I plunge back into studio work and/or do some research on the computer if needed before leaving to pick up my daughter from school at 2:40.

is there a place that you've been that really resonates with you?

James Turrell’s Skyspace at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. I love sitting inside the room where I’m usually alone. The few people who manage to find the installation have no idea what it’s about and quickly walk right out.

where have you felt the most "at home"

Whenever I ride through the open fields on the bike path in Sonoma. Geez, that sounds cheesy, but it’s really true!

dancing? pro or con?

Ballet, yes. Other dancing? Only when I’ve had a few too many, otherwise you won’t catch me on a dance floor, ever.­­­­

thank you SO much for letting us into your space kathryn ! 

kathryn's work was recently featured in uppercase magazine and new american paintings . you can see more of her artwork on her website - or catch up with her and her process and what's inspiring her on her blog.

until next time....


lisa solomon is a mixed media artist who lives in oakland, CA with her husband, young daughter, a one eyed pit bull, a french bulldog, a cross-eyed cat, a 3 legged cat, and many many spools of thread. she moonlights as a college professor, a graphic designer, and is a partner in MODify/d a crafty biz that up/cycles and re/purposes discards from the fashion industry.

Jan Halvarson


call me debbie said...

Isn't it one of the best studios?
I really admire the people who can create with garments, who can sew great pieces. Maybe because i think i can't! =)

(New blog needing some love and support:

noomiy said...

just love posts like this one! :)

rae dunn. said...

kathryn's work is amazing and oh so inspiring !

lisa solomon said...

her space and work really are amazing !

hi rae ! ;) can i come to your studio? ;)

Jaime Rugh said...

Such an amazing and smart artist- and also a generous , supportive and kind friend. I love seeing more of her studio- what a great interview!!

Kitty Kilian said...

What can I say? kathryn rocks!

Ruth M. Freeman said...

Great interview with Kathryn Clark. Her work and studio really are as amazing as depicted here. I can't wait to see those new foreclosure quilts!

Jan Halvarson said...

Yes Rae - can we see your studio?
: )

kathrynclark said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, I vote for a Rae studio visit too!

Katrina said...

kathryn! so awesome seeing your work featured here. and your studio is gorgeous. (hi lisa too.)

Hannah Nunn said...

That is a very beautiful studio. I'm craving some more space right now. I have space envy! Beautiful work!

sue bulmer said...

wow, isn't this studio just fantastic? It has made me want to go and tidy mine up!!

**EYE-SNACKS** said...

Kathryn,love to see your studio here.
And you already know that I like your work :-)


I have to clarify that. Galleries, museums as such often forget that a person created art for reasons but not to sit in places and be idolized. They were expressing themselves and in the best instances in reaction to the environment they existed in.
Academic writing

Lari Washburn said...

What a lovely post! Kathryn is such an inspiration to me that I was stunned to see my name there in that list! I so admire Kathryn's work for all the levels she accesses; for the beauty she creates while raising our awareness about important issues. And that is to say nothing about the gorgeous craftsmanship and fine aesthetic she employs. Envy that studio......good job Lisa!

Sophie Truong said...

how great to be able to see your work space Kathryn, it looks so nice and spacious! great interview. and i'm both humbled and honored to be included in your faves - you are so inspiring yourself!