Ceramics artist Kara Pendl finds inspiration in the natural world.

By Chantal Rice, Photos courtesy of Kara Pendl 

Artist Kara Pendl, who creates exquisite yet entirely functional art-meets-life wares through her Karacotta Ceramics business, may have become captivated by ceramics in a high-school art class decades ago, making what she calls a “soul connection” with the medium, but her inspiration stems from something much greater: the world around her. Having grown up encouraged to explore the woods, adventure in nature and form affinities for organic materials, Pendl has always been driven artistically by Mother Nature, which is evident in each of her gorgeous hand-thrown ceramics pieces. 

But Pendl does not create art just for art’s sake; she espouses her creations’ usefulness nearly as much as she does their beauty, beginning each project by asking how a product or tool could improve daily life. From lovely and delicate jewelry dishes and bowls graced with color palettes influenced by the wild to elegant tumblers rimmed in 22-karat gold and perfectly sized whiskey and mezcal copitas, Pendl’s work is at once posh and practical. 

A big believer that the best way to predict your future is to create it, Pendl spent much thoughtful time developing her ceramics hobby into a thriving business, a move she admits was terrifying but worth it. She seems to have found inspiration in a particular Kurt Vonnegut quote displayed on her Karacotta website: “To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” 

I find [ceramics]fascinating because it holds so much memory, history and legacy, as it is naturally of the earth and soil, which we will all go back to at some point. To be able to take that organic material in my hands and make beautiful objects that are not just admired but used intimately in daily life as both a decoration and functionally is a true joy.


For more information about Pendl and Karacotta Ceramics, visit karacotta.com. 


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