Katharine Pollen is a Bath-based artist and ceramic designer. Katharine’s childhood summers were spent at her grandparents’ house in Ireland. Both were artists and they filled the shelves and the walls of their home with early English pottery and delftware. The beauty of these pieces inspired Katharine’s lifelong interest in ceramics.
After working with Nicholas Serota at the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, she moved to the US and studied art and design at San Francisco State University. Following her return to the UK in 1991, Katharine learnt the technique of onglaze painting, bought her own kiln and set up her business making hand-painted china. Onglaze painting is a specialised decorative technique that involves colouring the glazed surface of china, porcelain, ceramic or glass with a powdered pigment, which then fuses with the glaze during firing. This creates intense, brilliant colour and a lustrous sheen.
Katharine comes from a long line of artists, architects and sculptors. Her great-grandfather, John Hungerford Pollen, was a founding member of the United Arts & Crafts Guild, and worked with William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelite group.