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Utilitarian Pottery : The Artist in Central Pennsylvania Who Creates Functional Art.

Updated: Feb 26, 2022

Take a stroll down fresh and funky West Pomfret Street in historic, downtown Carlisle, Pennsylvania and you'll find a dozen unique gift shops, boutiques, cafes, a tasting room and a ceramist.

K. Olson Ceramics features the utilitarian pottery of ceramic artist, Kirsten Olson.

artist in central pa

Pottery and ceramics have been an important part of human culture for thousands of years. In 9.000 BCE , clay-based ceramics became popular for water and food. Step into Kirsten's studio and you'll find her carrying on the tradition of crafting functional, decorative wares and artisan Jewelry.

functional wall art in southcentral pa

Artist Statement: My background in anthropology relates to culture and community and has inspired me as a ceramic artist. I'm interested in the daily rituals we partake in and the objects that we associate with these actions.

making ceramic art

"I believe the beauty of utilitarian ceramics lies in its ability to create community through social interactions while nourishing the body. My work as a ceramic artist is inspired by the far North. I grew up surrounded by images and objects that depicted the rich histories and narratives of Northern Native Culture. Learning about their history, culture, and community has been the foundation upon which my work has grown. My forms and patterns recall the shapes of baskets, hats, mukluk patterns, and ivory objects that sparked my childhood curiosities. The ceramic vessels I create not only contain the food and drink that nourish, but also contain the ideas of culture and community. "

ceramic vase

ceraminc dishes

"Our daily lives are punctuated by situations that revolve around eating and drinking. These social contexts allow for opportunities to share experiences and stories, and to create and strengthen relationships. As a potter I create vessels that become integral parts of these communal events, whether it be a formal gathering, sharing a meal with family, or having coffee with a friend", says Olson.

Olson is from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, attended Juniata College with a major in Anthropology, attended Uni of Alaska Fairbanks for an MFA in ceramics.  She's worked as adjunct faculty at Juniata College, completed a ceramic residency at the North Carolina Pottery Center and now has a her own studio on West. Pomfret Street. She is also the ceramic studio manager of Dickinson College. 

Olson says " I love the community of Carlisle--they're wonderfully supportive of the arts and artists."

gift of art

Give a special gift of ceramic art, Kirsten offers Gift Certificates or you can shop online at K. Olson Ceramics

STOREFRONT LOCATION: 34 W. POMFRET STREET CARLISLE, PA STUDIO HOURS: Thursday 1-5 Friday 10-5 Saturday 10-3 And by appointment. Please contact: Connect on Social media Instagram Facebook

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