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Biography

Ceramics is my true passion. I have been working with clay since I was sixteen. I was introduced to it in the last 2 years of my secondary school in my by then fifteenth school in almost as many countries. Because of my father’s job, we moved a lot. It was clear to me then that working with clay was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Right after secondary school I was offered a job as a student teacher in Singapore in the ceramic department of the Singapore International School. A year later I studied Art Education at the University of Frankfurt in Germany. I was trying to be sensible. However, it became clear to me that I was more drawn to becoming a visual artist.

In 1977 I graduated from art school, the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam , Holland.
Ever since then I have had umpteen exhibitions in Europe and the U.S. My work has been bought by three Museums here in Europe:

Het Princessehof Museum in Leeuwarden, Holland.
Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Holland
Museum of Decorative Art in Gent, Belgium ( called the Design Museum now). My work is also included in many private collections.

In 1994, I was asked to take part in a travelling exhibition of dutch ceramics in the U.S. This show opened at the National Museum of Ceramic Art in Baltimore and continued at the Everson Museum, Syracuse, Massachussets College of Art, Boston, Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa, Canada,and closed in the American Craft Museum in New York. It was because of this show that I was asked to exhibit at the Nancy Margolis Gallery in New York. Work of mine is available there aswell.

For the passed 5 years I have been working in a most romantic studio along the Amstel river which flows right through Amsterdam. This is also where I teach. I give a two and a half hour courses daily, five days a week. It is here that I have developed a true love for teaching. I am mainly interested in gearing towards each individual’s desires. I teach all available techniques, but mainly I want to make the sometimes seemingly impossible dreams of my students possible. I myself am using the coiled technique. I find that many of my students have come to find this technique very relaxing. They enjoy coming to my classes in order to get out of the stress they have in their lives. The coiling of clay has a very human pace about it and its meditative quality gives a possibility to center yourself. I would love to show you what a wonderful atmosphere we have in my studio.

Because of all the travelling I have done I have been introduced to so many different cultures. The moving around all the time was not always easy, but It has had an enormous influence on my work. I have a deep respect for many histories.

Karin Järvinen has two daughters and lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.