Kyle Carpenter is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina and currently lives in Asheville with his wife and two children and their dog, Lola. He attended the University of North Carolina at Asheville and received his BFA in ceramics in 2000. After his undergraduate studies, Kyle stayed and started his own pottery studio, building a salt kiln and studio at his home. He later joined the Clayspace Co-op and then the Southside Studios. His involvement in these studio cooperatives has allowed him to stay connected to the work of other potters in his community. Kyle’s work is included in many private and public collections including the Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC) and he is highly sought after for potters’ markets around the country.
Deeply inspired by the work of the hundreds if not thousands of known and unknown potters in his state, Kyle continues the best of the folk potter movement in North Carolina. Using local stoneware clay and single firing his wares in a salt kiln harkens back to the earlier years of North Carolina makers. While honoring this tradition, Kyle has brought a contemporary aesthetic to his pots.
Carpenter’s work is striking first because of its simplicity. His first focus with each form is the inherit functionality of the piece. This marriage of form and function is the backbone of Kyle’s work. Each and every piece is crafted with care and these simple forms become the canvas for his exquisite brushstrokes and drawings. His use of reeds, grasses, leaves and the birds reflect the fields and pastures of the Carolinas. Kyle’s color palette is warm and inviting to the eye; ranging from the tans and beiges of winter wheat to the honey and oranges of the summer sunset and with the dark blue-black of the winter’s sky on the night of a new moon. These colors are accented by the soft and subtle influence of the introduction of salt at the final stages of the firing. Combined with the mark left by the path of the flame throughout the kiln the slight pebbling or “orange peel” from the salt adds another level of surface, enhancing the forms.
In the past few months Kyle has begun to investigate a new all black body of work that is fired in the electric kiln. This starkness allows for the eye to focus more completely on the form. We are looking forward to seeing all of Kyle’s pots as he returns for SXPF’s second year.
To see more of Kyle’s work visit www.carpenterpottery.com