(Pottery by Dori Kite)
When Dori Kite starts to create a piece of pottery, she delves into what she calls her “toolkit” of ideas to make a new design. The toolkit holds concepts and actual objects she has collected to add texture and her personal imprint to her work. They include bicycle parts, an old bamboo placemat from a thrift store and rhododendron leaves from her garden. The result is a striking style of her own. Her work will be included in Red Chair Gallery’s annual Clay Wall exhibit in January, along with pieces by the gallery’s other clay artists.
Kite has been developing her toolkit for years and it is never static. ”I get restless and every once in a while I have to play with something new.” One new technique is creating cane handles for vases and bowls. The organic look of cane enhances the love of nature that shines through her work. Her choice of colors often comes from favorite scenes in nature. She recalls driving Highway 97 through Madras on a beautiful spring morning as the irrigation sprinklers flung water onto greening fields. The scene became the inspiration for a series of rust red and green platters. The purple and green of her favorite flower, the iris, became another of her favorite color schemes.
Kite, a Bend native, took her first pottery classes at Bend Senior High School and later with Tom Temple, who started the pottery department at Central Oregon Community College. She graduated from Eastern Oregon University with a degree in art. After college, she returned to Bend, racing in ski and mountain bike events and working at various sports shops, but not making ceramics. When her son graduated from high school she was able to set up a home studio and return to the art she loved. For the past decade, Kite has been making both decorative and functional pieces, employing both wheel throwing and hand building techniques. Decorating methods include slip trailing, painting wax resist and glaze dribbling or speckling with an atomizer. She fires a load of 30 to 50 new pieces in her kiln about once a month. She is an active member of the Clay Guild of the Cascades and has chaired the annual Wildfire Ceramics Showcase exhibit.
See Kite’s work on Facebook and Instagram: 44duckstreetpottery.
Red Chair Gallery is located at 103 NW Oregon Ave. (corner of Bond St. and Oregon Ave.) in Bend