Maren Kloppmann

After practicing a career in functional ceramics for 17 years, I began modifying my course of direction when several significant experiences over a period of  five years sparked a gradual shift in my artistic and professional goals. In 2008 an unsolicited commission for a hotel lobby wall installation propelled me to add wall pieces to my repertoire.  Affirmed by this success I began working on a new portfolio. The relocation of my studio in 2010 provided a facility that included a gallery with ample wall space adjacent to my workspace, enabling me to further explore installations. 

During this period I divided my production between the making of tableware and wall pieces. This facilitated to maintain a long-time customer base and functional gallery affiliations, while acquiring wall commissions with a new clientele and exhibiting the new work nationally.

In 2013 I embarked on a self-imposed functional sabbatical to cease production of tableware and to concentrate my pursuits on wall pieces. Initially intended as a trial period, the functional sabbatical has risen to become permanent in the course of its duration. The experience of this major shift prompted a new direction in my career and artistic focus, allowing me to create a new business model through steady custom-designed commissions as well as invitational sculptural exhibitions.

My departure from utilitarian to sculptural work has been most invigorating. When working with a potter’s mindset I was often more fascinated with [pure] sculptural form than concerned with a particular function. While utilitarian aspects have their intrigue, I sometimes thought of them as restrictions. Looking back, my mantra was not form follows function but function follows form. I had been constructing most of my tableware from porcelain slabs and eventually the process itself inspired me to focus on volume, proportion and negative space without utilitarian concerns.


Transitioning from function to sculpture involved giving myself permission without internal judgment and finding courage to follow a personal artistic choice. I have always responded intuitively to the space I work in and once I moved to the [new] studio that provided space for wall montages, concepts of light and space manifested in my work. Ultimately a shift of focus would not have happened if not for my passion. Spending hours on end creating shapes is only rewarding as the process of making holds one’s attention. Now I find myself constructing wall elements with the same concentration I used to have when making pots. Relying on technical skills acquired over the past 30 years, I have been recharged in following this new direction in my creativity and profession.

Maren Kloppmann Ceramics
1209 Tyler Street NE
Suite 105
Minneapolis MN 55413 
T: 651.338.8080 - E:

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