First image: Box Treasure, 2021. Slab-built glazed ceramic. Courtesy of The Blind Potter.
Second image: Whispering Duo, 2021. Glazed ceramic vessel with birds. Courtesy of The Blind Potter.
First image: Strawberry Basket, 2021. Woven glazed ceramic. Courtesy of The Blind Potter.
Second image: One Globe, 2021. Glazed ceramic. Courtesy of The Blind Potter.
Other works in the exhibition
Tell it to the Cows, 2021. Glazed ceramic wall tile with Braille. Courtesy of The Blind Potter.
About the Artist
The artist Don Katz sitting at a potter's wheel.
Image description: A black-and-white photograph of the artist Don Katz. The landscape-format portrait shows Don Katz from the knees up, sitting at a potter's wheel, with his hands on the wheel. He is smiling slightly with his lips closed. He is wearing a light-colored apron and a black, three-quarter sleeve shirt that dissolves into the black background.
“Ceramics is all I want to do. It’s all I think about. When I’m not doing ceramics, I’m watching ceramic videos, reading ceramic books. I go to bed thinking about different forms that I want to create the next day. I’m still feeling very much that this is a new process and I’ve so much to learn. When you’re on the wheel, and you have this idea in your head and you feel it come to fruition, and you feel in your hands, a shape and texture, it just feels amazing. It’s just a magical experience to me.”—Don Katz
Don Katz works to disrupt many of the myths and false narratives about the limitations of blindness. He started to live and breathe ceramics after an introductory pottery course at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles in 2018. He is now working to be a full-time ceramicist with his own studio and kiln in Southern California, where he lives. His pieces are both functional and decorative, and he finds inspiration from daily life. He loves to experiment and learn new techniques, from making slab and hand-built forms to vessels thrown on the wheel. The inclusion of Braille messages may become one of his signature styles.
Katz became blind due to bacterial meningitis just before 9/11, 2001. After waking up from a month-long coma, he had to relearn walking and feeding himself, and adjust to his new, sightless reality. The opening of this exhibition is close to the 20th anniversary of his sudden illness, and this selection of work is both a moment of closure on that chapter of his life, and a glimpse into his future creative potential.