We had the good fortune of connecting with Carol Berger and we’ve shared our conversation below. Hi Carol, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how? My art explores nature’s regenerative force in the face of enormous odds. The works reflect concern about the impact of human encroachment, the destruction of habitats, and the planet’s survival. The eradication of plant species and diversity through human infringement and global warming, the disappearance of bee colonies and other animal/bird/insect/fish populations, and the devastation of massive pollution in the oceans, landmasses, and atmosphere have engendered a response that celebrates and honors the rapidly shrinking natural world. The artworks celebrate what may be lost if we do not act. Even though nature has powerful regenerative abilities, it cannot withstand the onslaught of the need for humans to “grow.” My art in clay explores visual ideas using the landscape and its natural elements as starting points. It is my hope that seeing the natural elements in art will inspire people to care for nature in their world.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community? Blessed with an artistic family, I have always loved to draw and paint. High school experiences included layout on the yearbook, and classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art. My Junior year of college I attended the University of Madrid focusing on art history with an emphasis on Goya. The year in Europe gave me the opportunity to study major works of art in France and Italy as well as Spain. After a career as a full-time classroom teacher, I relocated to Texas to be near our grandkids. I took a ceramics class the following year and began a second career I love… a ceramic artist. In my experience, the most important lesson I learned is to reach for opportunities that come to you with open arms and enthusiasm. If it doesn’t work out, the lessons learned will be of benefit for the next opportunities that come along. I continue to take, as well as teach, ceramic classes. I draw inspiration from everyday life and whether improving skills or exploring new techniques, I call my studio my happy place. Since I came to clay later in life, I am always trying out, and learning new ways to express my ideas. My current work is the use of porcelain functional items as a canvas to develop depth and visual movement in the plant images on my pieces. This involves layers of slips and underglazes to create the image followed by clear or translucent glazes as a last layer. It is not easy… a combination of frustration, hard work, impatience, and excitement …but so rewarding in the end!