Beth Katz is a potter living and working in Los Angeles California. Raised in a creative family and exposed to many mediums of art and craft early in her life, her experience of working with clay was special from the beginning. Those early years of exploring clay still influence and inform her ceramic work today with her own company, Mt. Washington Pottery. We spoke to Beth about inspiration and growing up in California.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I grew up in the 1970’s hippie enclave of Topanga Canyon in Southern California, where I learned the art of pottery. Not realizing ceramics could be more than a hobby I continued my studies in art thinking they could lead to a career as a painter or textile designer, like many of my relatives, or I would follow in the steps of my father and become a clothing designer.
After many years and two long careers, one as a makeup artist in the advertising world and the other as a Creative Director at a top women’s magazine, I decided to go to graduate school to study Spiritual Psychology, the best decision I ever made. Studying Psychology led me to the realization that it was time to make my lifelong hobby of creating pottery my primary focus.
The entire breadth of my experience continues to inspire me and influence my work each and every day. My taste and style are a reflection of the freedom of my childhood, the Southern California landscape, and the world of fashion and advertising.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
Growing up in Los Angeles my family spent time at both the beach and in the mountains and I’ve always loved them equally. The beauty and perfection of both the oceans and forests here inspire me. The little things I collect, rocks, shells, leaves, sticks and the Southern California light are big in influencing and informing the work I do.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Natural light, clay of course and an open mind.