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Karen Merkel


I am a ceramic artist who uses hand-building pottery techniques to create functional and decorative pieces. I use slabs of clay imprinted with antique doilies, vintage glassware, or natural items such as leaves and wheat. I add texture using linen and burlap. My collection includes bowls, trays, vases, wall hangings and religious items. My great-grandmother’s crocheted lace doilies provide a beautiful way to add texture to clay. I use delicate doilies to create functional and modern pieces. I press a doily into the clay and form it using a variety of techniques. The doily is removed and can be washed or reused without harm. Although the doilies are reused, each ceramic piece is unique in size, shape and color. Many of my pottery pieces are inspired by nature, and leaves have continually been a favorite subject. I pick up leaves in my back yard or when hiking and press them into the clay to preserve their beauty. I carefully cut around each leaf before shaping it, using each leaf only once. I am originally from Kingman, Kansas but have lived in Kansas City for many years. The wheat I use for my pottery is from my sister’s farm near my hometown. I enjoy experimenting with various types of clay, glazes and building techniques. I often try new glazes to create pieces that range from rustic and earthy to vibrant and elegant. Each ceramic piece is unique and made by hand. Functional pieces are food, microwave, and dishwasher safe.

Accolades and Exhibitions

  • Driftwood Ceramics in North Kansas City, MO

  • Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City, MO

  • Resident spotlight in Gladstone Magazine, Spring 2023, Gladstone, Missouri

  • Facebook
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  • Etsy
IMG_0518 Karen - Karen Merkel.jpg
IMG_4150 wheat tray in progress.JPG
IMG_3871 leaf in progress.JPG
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