my work and "the emperor's new clothes"

Like the child who points out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes, my work attempts to identify real truth, to transform sight to insight and to ask questions that make others ask questions. The challenge of our existence is both to figure out the meaning of our own lives and to do work that genuinely develops us, as we develop it. My ceramic figures are constructed as nudes, although the use of color, stripes and polka dots may lead some to believe otherwise. Their "nakedness" is metaphorical of my existential inquiry. In order to find real truth one must undress oneself in the inward sense: removing biases and assumptions that color our perception and worldview.


nancy kubale is a full-time ceramic and mixed media artist living 50 miles southeast of Asheville in the foothills of Rutherford County, NC. She earned her BFA in Mixed Media from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In addition, she studied clothing construction at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NY, ceramics at Penland School of Craft, and sculpture at Florence Academy of Art. While a student, she worked front of house at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and later worked several years in New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina as a costumer in theater and dance. She lives with her husband, who manages a performing arts center, and her studio mate Joe, a 105 pound black lab.

Her current work explores shared existence and individual essence . kubale exhibits regularly at high-end Art Fairs throughout the Eastern and Midwestern U.S., including SPECTRUM during Miami Art Week, the Philadelphia Museum Fine Craft Show, The Milwaukee Art Museum Lakefront, The Mint Museum Potters Market Invitational, the American Craft Exposition, CraftNEWYORK, and the Washington and Palm Beach Fine Craft Shows, as well as the Baltimore and Atlanta American Craft Council shows. She participates in numerous group and solo gallery exhibitions throughout the U.S. and is represented by Blue Spiral 1 in Asheville, Bennett Galleries in Knoxville, and Artisan Gallery in Paoli, WI. She is a 2008 and 2011 North Carolina Regional Artist Grant recipient.

tech talk

My ceramic figures begin with hand building techniques in red stoneware clay. I cover most of the surface with a white terra sigillata, which I burnish to a buffed shine and fire at cone 04 for the first firing. I then layer slips, under-glazes, stains, oxides, glazes, and under-glaze pencils - firing each piece three to five times. My imagery is influenced by Catholic statuary, Ancient sculpture, and Southern and Indigenous Folk Art. Some of the larger pieces utilize "stages and backdrops" to create an environment or context. Graffiti and ceramic tags are used to reference essence; the "I AM" / "I WAS HERE". Text is used for the way words and language shape our perceptions and to further offer context.

Using Format