The Art Studio

The Colorful Creations of Katherine Gullo

By Jill Bornand / Photography By Jill Bornand | June 12, 2017
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Ceramic artist Katherine Gullo in her studio

Ceramic Bananas and Whimsical Creatures

From brightly colored doors and windows painted with geometric shapes to intricate garden sculptures and mosaic-adorned chairs and planters, almost nothing at Katherine Gullo's studio has been left untouched by the artist's creative energy and her love for and commitment to art. When you visit, you feel as though you have wandered into a magical place.

Gullo, best known today for her ceramic fruits and vegetables, was working as a studio tech at Parsons School of Design in New York City when she decided to teach herself how to make molds. Seeking shapes that would challenge her, she resolved to make a mold of a banana. Her ceramic bananas intrigued art lovers at a show in Greenwich Village and quickly sold out.

 
Ceramic fruits and vegetables by Chautauqua artist, Katherine Gullo
Chautauqua ceramic artist Katherine Gullo
Katherine Gullo's home and studio in Chautauqua County, NY
Ceramic sculpture by Katherine Gullo

She expanded her collection: from eggplants to artichokes, strawberries to zucchini, her work found homes with collectors and museums alike. Using real fruits and vegetables, she creates the molds from nature's original works of art and adds her own bright, colorful designs.

Gullo also spent four years traveling between New York City and southern Spain and Portugal, where she became interested in mosaics and Moorish tiles that greatly influence her work.

Eventually returning home to Chautauqua County, Gullo bought an old farmstead in the middle of grape country. She began to paint and mosaic, experimenting and creating–she completed her kitchen after seven years, using it as a canvas to learn and try new things. She believes her house is a public art statement.

At her new home, Gullo also began to garden. Her love of nature and the creatures she encountered further inspired her work, leading to new creations: a serving vessel in the shape of an apple with a frog perched on top, spoons that look like worms or asparagus, and a friendly lizard on a purple pumpkin.

 
Ceramic pears by artist Katherine Gullo
Ceramic eggplants by artist Katherine Gullo

In addition to her functional ceramics (platters, teapots, pitchers, bowls, butter dishes, and the like), the talented artist began focusing on painting and sculptural work, making use of made and found objects. While her work is playful and whimsical, she is a talented technical artist. Through her training and technique, her use of precise molds, and intricate detail, she has always been motivated to create museum-quality work.

Gullo believes in giving back to her community, which she does through public art projects, teaching, and supporting arts in education projects in Chautauqua County schools. She is also a member of the Chautauqua-Lake Erie Art Trail.

Overall, Katherine Gullo's approach is that art is something that should be done just to see what

it's like, that it should be accessible to all, and that it shouldn't always be taken so seriously.

Visit Katherine Gullo by appointment at 6687 Webster Rd, Portland, NY; 716-792-7415, katherinegullo.com

Article from Edible Western NY at http://ediblewesternny.ediblecommunities.com/shop/ceramic-fruits-vegetables-katherine-gullo
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