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Kara Miller's Profile

About

Hi, I am Kara, the "Kara" in Kara no Te which means Kara's Hands or Empty Hands in Japanese.

I was raised in a military family. Every year or two, my family would move to a new location and each time I would welcome the chance to learn about a new environment, meet new people, and taste new flavors. Something that kept me grounded during all of these moves was my desire to create and to work with my hands—I wanted to see how my hands could bring meaning and warmth to my new environment.

My interest in Japanese culture also started with my parents. My parents lived in Japan before I was born. While growing up, I repeatedly asked them to “tell me about Japan.” Their stories intrigued me; they were something to dream about; they were beautiful and inspiring. When I was 15, my curiosity led me to Japan for a six-week exchange program. I fell in love…

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  • Female
  • Joined January 5, 2010

Favorite materials

Clay, food, ink and rice paper, textiles, metal and wood

About

Hi, I am Kara, the "Kara" in Kara no Te which means Kara's Hands or Empty Hands in Japanese.

I was raised in a military family. Every year or two, my family would move to a new location and each time I would welcome the chance to learn about a new environment, meet new people, and taste new flavors. Something that kept me grounded during all of these moves was my desire to create and to work with my hands—I wanted to see how my hands could bring meaning and warmth to my new environment.

My interest in Japanese culture also started with my parents. My parents lived in Japan before I was born. While growing up, I repeatedly asked them to “tell me about Japan.” Their stories intrigued me; they were something to dream about; they were beautiful and inspiring. When I was 15, my curiosity led me to Japan for a six-week exchange program. I fell in love with Japanese culture, and my experience that summer continues to influence my life. After graduating with a degree in East Asian Studies, I returned to Japan, where, for seven incredible years I worked and studied various arts—from ink painting to weaving. It wasn’t until I moved to New York City in 2007 that I was finally able to work in clay. I took my first ceramics class and found a studio.

My work is entirely hand-built; I do not use a wheel. From one ball of clay, I slowly use my fingers to pinch and press the clay into various forms. Sometimes I add coils or slabs to my pieces in order to allow the shape to grow organically. I try to let the clay guide my fingers while at the same time encouraging it to take a specific shape. Because each piece will be used in a variety of ways, I choose glazes and forms that will compliment whatever it holds…coffee, green tea ice cream, pencils, tomato soup, rice, incense, cranberries, cashews, jewelry...

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