Project Description

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Alyssa Westenbroek-Koster

Member Since 2016

Artist Bio
Alyssa Westenbroek-Koster studied ceramics at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. After graduating she spent two years as a production potter for Heather Lane Pottery in Ada MI., then she was a studio assistant to potter for two years before making the decision to start her own full time studio practice in 2008. As of 2014 she has been living in Boulder, CO., and making pots full time from Centercraft Studios, a cooperative studio with 9 other professional artists in Boulder.  She sells her work though art markets and galleries around the country, and online.

Artist Statement
Sitting down for a cup of coffee with a friend, we don’t sip from styrofoam. When I celebrate the holidays with family, we don’t set the table with paper.  On Saturday mornings with my husband, we don’t eat oatmeal from disposable dishware.  Pottery is not precious, but these moments spent with family and friends are.

I aim to make beautiful one-of-a-kind “things” which elevate the precious moments we experience in life, from quiet mornings to raucous holidays.  Transforming a shapeless lump of clay into a vessel for experiences brings me joy.  I work to integrate my joy into each and every “thing” I make.

When someone uses a cup or bowl I created, my hope is that the use of that cup or bowl holds more than simple green tea or noodle soup.  Hopefully this piece of handmade pottery contains more than only nourishment for the body, but also nourishment for the soul. It is my firm belief that a piece of un-precious pottery can contribute to very precious moments.

My current body of work is about the contradictory simplistic complexity of line and pattern on 3 dimensional surfaces.  Typically doodles are found on the edges of notebook pages; remaining static where we never interact with them once they have found their place in the margins. By applying these simple lines to the curved surfaces of functional pottery, the doodles come to life, moving and wrapping, dancing as the piece is used. The glazes are kept minimal so as not to distract from the “doodling” which looks effortless though the process of inlaying the patterns is quite time consuming. Your eye follows the lines, sometimes getting lost in the rhythms and undulations. There is a very subtle texture imbedded in the glaze where the lines sink into the clay – reminding us that the clay was once wet and soft, and the lines were scratched into the malleable surface by my own hand which was probably shaky from too much morning coffee. All of these facets contribute the the moments you spend with one of my pieces: using it, touching it while you fiddle with the handle, serving loved ones from it, washing it, and make conversation or get lost in thought in the dappled morning light while sipping from it.  Precious one-of-a-kind moments, beautiful one-of-a-kind things.