Monday, June 22, 2009

Featuring: Katie Ray Arts

Who are you?

My name is Katie Richardson. I live in Belchertown, MA on a beautiful organic veggie farm run by my partner - Stone Soup Farm. I studied art and music at Hampshire College, where I produced a multimedia installation for my thesis project entitled “Nos(otros): Art Questioning Borders”. This piece dealt with ideas of immigration, home, nation and identity. It involved lots of steel sculpture, interactive environments and music to evoke thought and participation from viewers.
Out of this work came an interest in images and structures of nests, cocoons, eggs, safety/comfort vs. raw/fear, etc. These themes continue in my work. I work primarily in steel and glass, but enjoy experimenting with all kinds of materials. I’m interested in encouraging hand made products to become more a part of daily life. I find value in aesthetics and using our hands to create things, rather than mass produced products, so I try to find ways to make pretty things functional. My inspiration comes from nature, peoples’ stories and struggles, and the process of making.
Currently, I teach preschool and I am working on an M.Ed to teach ESL students (English as a Second Language). I’m involved in community art projects and hope to someday open a non-profit, youth outreach and artist space dedicated to ‘fire arts’ – glass, metal, clay, etc.. I also sing in an acapella group (The Connotations), play trumpet, speak Spanish, enjoy yoga and scuba, love traveling, and have two beautiful cats.

How long have you been selling on Etsy?

I’ve been selling on Etsy since Fall 2008.

What made you decide to open up shop?

I thought it would be a great venue to be able to sell my work outside of shows and galleries Because I’m generally very busy and involved in lots of things, I’m not always able to keep my shop fully stocked and up top date. However, it’s a great community to be a part of and supplies a venue for people to purchase handmade things. It allows me some flexibility that I don’t have with shows, because I can post new items when I make them.

How did you decide on your shop name?

My shop name just came from my name. Katie is my first name, Ray is my middle name. So KatieRayArt seemed to make sense.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

I think my favorite item in my shop right now is the Untitled Sculpture of the three egg shaped forms (some people say peanuts). I just like how the shape of this one came out, organic and flowing. The screen worked really well to provide a different solid texture without being opaque. While the pictures don’t show it very well, it also makes incredible shadows in the right light. My sculptures are almost like wire drawings, and then the shadows make another drawing behind them.

I also really like the Cocoon Plant Waterer that I recently posted. It is another way for me to make something beautiful that is useful for peoples’ homes. It is made of hand blown glass and looks great in your plant, but then you can fill it up and it will slowly water the plant. I just started making these, and I’m really enjoying it!

What do you love about Western Ma?

I love the sense of community and the variety of great artists. I also love the many beautiful places you can go to hike- one of my goals for the summer is to check out the various hiking spots I haven’t been to yet.

Do you have any websites, blogs, or other markets we can find you on?

I have a blog at which is where I have info on upcoming shows.
My website is If you search Katie Ray Arts on facebook, you'll also find me there.

Thanks for reading :)