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Member Profile: Amy Rosen

What first drew you to ceramics? 

I moved to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 11 years ago from Rockland County, where I grew up and raised my children. I had been folk painting, you know, cows and barns on furniture and recycled trash for a good 20 years prior to my interest in abstract art. I took some classes at Rockland Center for the Arts, but my practice blossomed when I moved here and took weekly lessons with Jenny Nelson at Woodstock School of Art for a good 8 years before the pandemic shut everything down.


Maybe, it was the lack of community during the pandemic, but I struggled to paint. After the first year of doing almost nothing, I decided to return to ceramics, which I had put aside to focus on my painting. I first met Lex in 2012 at Hudson Valley Pottery. I followed her to Art Centro, enjoying ceramics for about one year. 

Fast forward to the Winter of 2021, my friend of many years, Phyllis Busell, was posting such beautiful work on Facebook. I asked her where she was doing her pottery; of course, I knew the answer was KCS, so I went back.

What inspires your Ceramics? 

I took a few classes but wanted to figure it out myself, so I became a KCS member. Thank you to the entire KCS staff and community for the support and inspiring space to be creative. Finding my own way has been a struggle, but it has helped me keep my work organic. I have made a ton of bad pottery along the way and still do, but I'm finally finding my way. 


I approach my work much like an abstract painting, created without much intention, asking myself questions along the way: What if I do this, add, or cut away this? The shape, lines, marks, and distressed surface are connected to my paintings and inspire me to paint again. Ceramics is a great complement to my other work, and they inform each other. 


What is your favorite tool? 

I'm a hand builder, so my hands are my favorite tool. In addition, I could build all my work with nothing more than a pin tool and the wooden sculpting tool that comes in the initial tool kit you can buy anywhere. Of course, life would not be complete without the back of a long paintbrush I use to make the long necks of my vessels. You might be shocked to see my unorthodox methods, but they are mine and get the work done. I'm a bit of a 4th generation cave lady! 


What do you listen to? 

I like anything from the '70s (I am old), especially James Taylor and the like. But you might be surprised that I love country music too. However, I rarely listen to anything when I am at home in my backyard studio. Just me, the questions in my head and the work in front of me. 

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Member Profile:

David Sytkowski

When I was growing up in Milwaukee, there was a local university that offered summer courses for kids. One summer I signed up for ceramics and was so disappointed when they wouldn’t teach me wheel throwing as an 8 year-old. I almost took it again as a freshman in high school but was also drawn to music, which became my primary extracurricular activity, social world and eventual source of income––playing in a piano bar (called The Mosaic!) two nights a week for $40 under the table.

After getting a Bachelor of Music as a pianist at the University of Wisconsin, I moved to NYC in 2012 and (somehow) survived as a freelance musician, primarily working with singers in opera, musical theater and cabaret. My first trip to the Hudson Valley was in 2013 when I started as Principal Music Coach on the opera productions for Bard SummerScape. Since 2018, I have been a Visiting Artist in Residence at Bard College, teaching in the Conservatory and Music Program, and love living here full-time.

I began taking classes at KCS in January 2022 and became a member in May, finally learning how to throw, and spending as much time as I can in the studio. I am eternally fascinated by the endless possibilities of form and function that ceramics provide and their interaction with space and light. I’m also interested in its sonic potential and musical instrument construction. Paralleling my work in music, my hands are the most direct and useful tool for getting all the ideas out of my brain, and clay is a bit more tangible than sound. I find the ancient alchemy of combining earth, water, fire and air to create humbling and awe-inspiring.

Member Profile: Elissa Bromberg

Elissa Bromberg has been an active member at Kingston Ceramics Studio for the past three years. Although she started working with clay twelve years ago, she has been an artist nearly her entire life. Starting in New York City as a Sculpture undergraduate at the School of Visual Arts, she continued to live in NYC and explore a variety of mediums, as well as spending time working as an art therapist.

She left NYC and moved up to the Hudson Valley 16 years ago and has resided here ever since. What she loves most about working at Kingston Ceramics Studio is the community and the mutual respect between members that exists.

“My work explores the raw essences of the human encounter through the use of archetypes. Inspired by theater, puppetry, and the carnival arts, my sculpture becomes a collective experience of emotion, thought, movement, and spirit in a complex world that pairs love with loss, empathy with suffering, belongingness with exclusion.”

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