Kat Wheeler studied ceramics at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee. She completed a semester study abroad at the Australia National University in 2007, before earning her B.F.A. in Ceramics in 2008. While studying, Kat worked part time for established studio potters Judy Brater and Peter Rose. Peter became a significant mentor to Kat, encouraging her to pursue opportunities to travel and work. She learned valuable studio practice and production techniques while maintaining the workshop and helping fire Peter’s two chambered wood kiln.
Kat moved to St Ives to work at the Leach Pottery in 2009, where she currently holds the position of Deputy Studio Manager. In 2015, Kat went to Mashiko and did a 10 week residency at the Hamada Workshop. Her experimentations with Hakeme brush decorations in Mashiko became a catalyst for her recent work here in St Ives.
In 2019, Kat left the Leach Studio to focus on her own pots at her workshop in the Gaolyard Studios, St Ives.
Working production in such an intensive environment as the Leach Pottery and being surrounded and encouraged by the enthusiasm of our talented workshop team has had a profound impact on me and my work. I enjoy the repetition of throwing simple forms and using contrasting slips to create texture and individuality to my range of pots.