Karl received his BFA from St. Cloud State College, and his MFA from the University of Minnesota, where he was a student of Warren MacKenzie. He taught for more than 30 years at the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, before "retiring" to be a studio potter. He has given workshops at institutions such as Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and the Appalachian Center for Craft, been in numerous exhibitions and publications and is included in major collections across the country. Karl maintains a home and studio in Whitewater, Wisconsin.
My current work takes two overlapping directions. I produce utilitarian pots intended for everyday use and more sculptural but still functional covered vessels. I am particularly intrigued by textiles, baskets, tribal masks and vernacular architecture witnessed during recent travel in West Africa and Indonesia. Inspiration comes in many forms but usually manifests itself subtly and abstractly.
Although I hand build some pieces, most are wheel thrown and some are altered to create squared, oval or triangular forms. To satisfy my minimalist instincts I restrict my color palette using just two slips and four glazes. I use two clays (stoneware and porcelain) which results in slightly different color responses. Surface embellishment, when employed, incorporates basket weave imagery, checkerboard patterns or parallel lines. Subtle surface variations, color and texture are achieved by the addition of wood ash to the surface of the pots before loading and the introduction of a small amount of salt at the end of the firing.