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Karen Koblitz

American, b. 1951

Mandarin Orange Spice Teacup

10 x 6 x 6 in. (25.4 x 15.24 x 15.24 cm)
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

The artistic career of American ceramist Karen Koblitz has been driven by wanderlust and reading in pursuit of enriching her worldview, expanding her multicultural connections, and increasing her knowledge of art. She pays homage to the functional roots of ceramics, while elaborating on its historical and decorative elements. Mandarin Orange Spice Teacup is part of a series of cup-and-saucer still-life pieces. This one was based on the Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice tea that she likes. She carves away the white earthenware background of leather-hard clay, leaving raised textured areas. This wheel-thrown cup tastefully sits atop a handbuilt base, each side with a different motif in keeping with her theme.

Koblitz, born in Hollywood, has continued to reside in California throughout her career. She holds a BA from California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of the Arts) and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, both with an emphasis in ceramics. She also studied in Osaka, Japan, and Florence, Italy. Koblitz started teaching ceramics at the University of Southern California in 1995 and retired in 2017.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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