• Kari Darr, Retro Teal Rocket Cup, Stoneware, 2020
  • Kari Darr, Pink Floating Cup, Stoneware, 2020
  • Kari Darr, Cosmic Floating Cup, Porcelain, 2020
  • Kari Darr, Retrofuturistic Goblets and Jewelry Jar, Porcelain, 2020
  • Kari Darr, Pink Rocket Cup, Stoneware, 2020

Ever since I first peered through an observatory telescope, I have been fascinated by astronomy and its implication that each of us are a small but meaningful part of a vast and mysterious universe. My current body of spaced-themed functional ceramics, SPACE//CRAFT, explores the spiritual and fantastical aspects of space travel. This series references mid-century modern interior design in the form of rounded vessels, tapered legs, and retro bathroom tile colors. I use porcelain and pastel underglazes to create my precise imagery and abstracted, mechanical forms. By using clay to create something extra-terrestrial, my work contains the dualism of earthly and other-worldly.

     My style draws from space exploration technology, vintage illustrations, and Space Age design. I fill my surfaces with playful illustrations of an anonymous astronaut, traveling through space or engaged in mundane activities that the viewer can relate to. I use depictions of space travel as a metaphor for a spiritual journey, as my character pursues a universal Truth at the center of the cosmos. Some of these pieces play off of each other and can be combined to form a narrative. Their functionality means they serve as interactive objects meant to be handled and explored by the viewer or holder.

    I am particularly intrigued by the way people during the Space Age imagined the future as a technological utopia, how the present doesn’t reflect that future, and how we continue to project our visions of the future that will inevitably become outdated once again. By looking towards astronomy, spirituality, and vintage aesthetics for inspiration, SPACE//CRAFT reimagines yesterday’s tomorrow in a retrofuturistic style.