By Angie Connor ’10, PRCA intern
Potter Karla Klinger will exhibit her work at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery, downtown Morris, from May 2 until June 15, 2010. Klinger will be attending an opening reception at the PRCA from 2 until 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 2. The public is invited to attend the artist’s reception and visit the gallery to view the free exhibit, “Pots Old and New.”
Klinger has been a Morris resident since 1962 when she moved here with husband Eric Klinger, psychology professor, who taught at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Klinger began her professional career as a high school English teacher. She earned a bachelor of arts in English from St. Olaf College and a master of arts in English from the University of Chicago. For many years, she worked as an adviser at the University of Minnesota, Morris. The Klingers are now retired.
Klinger always admired pottery, but she never imagined herself as a potter until 1962, when she joined a pottery group through the Women’s Association on the Morris campus. Klinger gained further access to materials in the early 1970s when Lynn and Russ DuBois opened up their basement studio for faculty wives interested in learning. It was there that Klinger learned to wedge and throw pottery, and was provided clay, glazes, access to a kiln, and firing expertise. Klinger was hooked, and she began taking night classes at the Morris campus with Don Sherman, Meredith Jack, Jenny Nellis, and Kevin Flicker. Today, Klinger has everything she needs to create pottery in her own home: a Lockerbie wheel purchased in the 70s, an electric kiln purchased in 1997, clay, eight commercial glazes, and work and storage spaces in her basement.
Klinger’s pride and joy is her large Pithos jar, inspired by a pot seen in a shop in Crete visited with her husband in the mid 70s. Klinger’s pottery has been inspired by many sources such as Native American potters of New Mexico, by the Austrian potter Lucie Rie, by pottery seen in journals like Ceramics Monthly, and also by her teachers and former classmates from ceramics classes at the University of Minnesota, Morris. She enjoys reforming pots, draping thin sheets of clay over various shapes, twisting extruded hexagons into vases, or throwing traditional bowls, cylinders, and plates. She often “likes to play to see where the clay will lead.”