Karen Kotze was born in 1980. She obtained a BA Degree in Fine Art from the University of Stelllenbosch in 2002 and also holds a diploma in education. Karen currently lives and works in Bellville in the Western Cape. She was introduced to the medium of ceramics by artist and educator Hennie Meyer, for whom she also worked as studio assistant for several years.
Her work is inspired by a keen interest in traditionally “feminine” methods of craft production – both African and European – such as beading, weaving and crocheting. These methods are not only incredibly time-consuming, but also require a systematic approach which is based on mathematical patterns.
These concerns manifest in her work through the innovative use of clay coils to build up intricate pieces that do not rely solely on superficial surface decoration. Instead, the processes through which these pieces are constructed influence the final design. Karen has a highly experimental approach and more often than not pushes the boundaries in terms of the possibilities of the medium.
Her work is held in various corporate and private collections, amongst others the Corobrick Ceramic Collection in the Pretoria Art Museum, the William Humphreys Art Collection and the Hollard Collection. She has also participated in various group exhibitions and her work has been accepted for competitions, both locally and abroad.