My work focuses on the expression of emotional trauma through the examination of memories. I observe the aspects of my own female experience, contemplate my familial tragedies, and grapple with mental illness. Each memory is portrayed in a gesture, wrapped in a smooth skin, and broken apart to reveal the damage.
The human figure allows me to express ideas that are more easily recognizable. The gesture reflects the particular pose I adopted in those moments. Sculpting with clay, my hands literally and figuratively shape and mold my narrative as the piece takes form.
The desire to revisit my memories works as a therapeutic exercise for me. In creating each piece, I emotionally place myself back within that moment, reshaping the details and presenting them to the world in my own image. This process of recollection allows me to come to terms with many traumatic events.
Born in Goshen, Indiana, Katherine Gaff has graduated from Purdue University Fort Wayne with a BFA in sculpture. After graduation she has gained experience in the realm of production pottery, selling her pottery, and creating a community ceramics studio. Katherine intends on continuing her education into a master’s program, with the goal of becoming a university professor.
While working her first year making production mugs, she also exhibited new work for her residency with Bread and Circus Gallery in Fort Wayne, IN. Katherine is now working as the Studio Manager at a new ceramics facility at The Community Learning Center in Kendallville, IN. Throughout this time, she has exhibited her work locally and regionally, as well as gained experience selling her pottery online and at local craft fairs. She also joined Doug Casebeer and Seth Green while building a gas kiln at Purdue Fort Wayne. All of these experiences have furthered her knowledge and preparation for applying to graduate programs in January of 2023.
Katherine is interested in the human condition. Her work focuses on the expression of emotional trauma through the examination of memories and portrayed in the form of figurative ceramic sculptures. She observes the aspects of her own female experience, contemplates familial tragedies, and grapples with mental illness. Each memory is portrayed in a gesture, wrapped in a smooth skin, and then broken apart to reveal the damage. This work has been shown locally and regionally in galleries such as the Garret Museum of Art, the Wunderkammer Gallery, and the Indianapolis Art Center during the Indiana Clay Conference.