Karen Thompson


Karen Thompson has been a practicing ceramic artist and arts educator for the past 25 years, working and exhibiting in Ireland and Australia before finally returning to Edinburgh. In addition to running her own studio in Dublin, she was part of an architectural ceramics company creating large scale ceramic interiors for bars, hotels and shopfronts in Dublin and throughout Europe. In Melbourne, Karen had a studio for 5 years and developed her studio ceramics practice, exploring hand built simple forms.

Brought up in a Scottish new town in the 1980’s, Karen was acutely aware of her architectural environment from an early age and conscious of the contrast with the Neoclassical inspired areas of nearby Edinburgh. She has remained inspired by the public realm and all things architectural ever since, being drawn to both historic and contemporary settings; including austere detail, simple forms and intricate, historic architectural pattern and additions.

More recently her work combines inspiration from architecture and the natural world and she has been exploring the duality of bold, geometric forms and patterns, which are offset with more organic and natural imagery. Karen is currently developing a body of work which encompasses large, hand built sculptural vessels, decorated platters and wall pieces.

All work is hand-built and one of a kind. Karen uses a wide range of techniques including low-relief carving and takes her own photographs and manipulates these to decorate pieces using a range of printing techniques including lithography and mono printing. She creates her own coloured slips and glazes and decorates using coloured slip applications and various stamped, raised texture and applied mark making techniques.