Pat Katsura Rollins

A long-time resident of South Minneapolis, born and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii of Chinese/Japanese descent, Pat has a BA in art from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is married, a mother of three, gardener, bird watcher, golfer and pickleball player.

 

I make pots that I find useful in my own daily life. My little vases come from a too-high and narrow windowsill above my kitchen sink, and my microwave bowls from the knowledge of health risks associated with plastic. But besides the ideas that function inspires, my desire as an artist is to express the mystery and beauty of the natural world in my pots. I often use leaf impressions to help me do this. Only leaves have the ability to turn the sun’s energy into food. They are the miracle engines that allow for all higher forms of life. And I love to contrast their delicate, impermanent forms against a hard stony glazed surface. *

 

Having grown up in Hawaii, I have a particular attachment to ferns. And after gardening and living in the Midwest for over 30 years I have come to love the grasses and wildflowers of the prairie as well. I thoroughly enjoy the process of scouring my yard and garden and sometimes the neighborhood parks and boulevards for just the right leaves to impress on my newly thrown pots. I then try to arrange them in a natural, asymmetrical way . . . just as I would find them in nature . . . and let their beauty speak for themselves. It is still a thrill for me, after 25 years, to create beautiful and functional pieces from earth and fire and have them used and enjoyed by others.

 

* When I look at my pots a memory surfaces. As a young girl I witnessed some of Hawaii’s most spectacular volcanic eruptions. I walked on lava flows and through ash fields just recently cooled. After just a year or two of wind and rain erosion, these rivers of black basaltic rock would start to be colonized by tiny plants – moss, lichen, fern, etc., followed much later by little shrubs, then trees. Somehow, this vision of new life tenaciously growing out of barren and hostile ground (leaves on stone!) must have left an indelible impression on my young mind - only to become an intrinsic part of my aesthetic! And I guess I know why I was drawn to working with earth and fire!!