Episode 28: The Eye of Horus

The eye of horus as the plain symbol, and below it, an example of Karina Bates's maker's mark on the bottom of one of her ceramics
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Joe and Mark are joined by Karina Bates, a potter from Omemee, Ontario.

Karina takes the lads through a quick tour of what it’s like the throw pots and other ceramics on the wheel. Her work tends to be functional and purposeful.

“It’s a nice feeling to have people hold up a cup you’ve made and say they enjoy having their coffee in it,” says Karina.

Joe attests to this, as he has one of her mugs and a honey jar that he uses every day.

On the bottom of every piece, Karina leaves her “maker’s mark”, which is the Eye of Horus. In ancient Egypt, Horus was represented as a falcon-headed man, and was the god of order. His right eye was the morning star, embodying power, and his left eye was the evening star, representing healing.

When she was a kid, she would have nightmares, and her mother would draw the sign on her window, helping her sleep.

One of the things she loves about pottery is how it forces the artist to be present: “There really aren’t any rules in pottery, just physics. It forces you to be in the moment, because if you’re not, your clay ends up stuck to the wall.” They also get into the chemistry of pottery, as they discuss what happens with the kiln.

This is a thoroughly engaging conversation about the art of pottery, the purpose of guilds, and ancient Egyptian mythology.

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Karina (Horus Eye Pottery) has been an active potter for almost 20 years. Her work is strongly influenced by medieval, and especially middle eastern designs and ornamentation. She also very much enjoys making reproduction pottery for the re-enactment community. In 2016, Karina participated in the Fusion Mentorship
program under Michelle Mendlowitz, and in 2018, she traveled to Icheon, Korea with five other members of the Guild, to learn techniques from Korean pottery masters. Also in 2018, Karina was accepted into the KPG Juried show at the Peterborough Art Gallery and was honored to win the Design Award from Angelo di Petta.

Karina regularly teaches both beginner and advanced classes at the Kawartha Potters Guild and you can find Karina’s work in their Pottery Shop (both in person and online). When she is not in her pottery studio, Karina knits, gardens, wanders her property taking photographs, reads extensively and plays music when the
opportunity arises.

You can order pottery from her via her website, at Horus Eye Pottery, or you can also find her wares easily on Facebook.

Karina Bates, standing in front of a display of some of her pottery

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