This week we head to sunny Lake Elsinore, California to interview Kristina Kiehn. We aren't actually traveling there, rather a cyber visit, but I'm envisioning chatting with Kristina down by the lake, sipping an iced tea and hanging out with her pups.
Kristina is an amazing clay artist that specializes in custom animal bas-reliefs for pet memorials, decorations, or gifts. As stated in Wikipedia a "Bas-relief is a type of sculpture that has less depth to the faces and figures than they actually have, when measured proportionately (to scale). This technique retains the natural contours of the figures, and allows the work to be viewed from many angles without distortion of the figures themselves."
After creating an urn with her pets face, she realized the memories it created within her. She began making gifts for family members with pets and saw the emotion it evoked. As with many of the artists I've interviewed, an incident with Kristina's own pet spurred on a passion which shaped the direction of her artistic endeavors.
My pets, and love of animals, have inspired me to create one-of-a-kind pieces out of clay. I do my best to capture the animal's personality as I sculpt and glaze each piece.
My medium of choice is clay. I've been working with clay for over 8 years. Last year I decided to make a business out of it. I sculpt unique bas reliefs, tiles or plaques, of favorite animals and loved pets.
I have never been without pets. I've had many different animals growing up; dogs, cats, birds, fish, snakes, rats, even a squirrel. I currently have a family of Chihuahuas, Mama, Stanley, and their two sons Mister Binx and Chubbs. Everyday when I come home I'm greeted by "the family". They are my furkids. I feature them on my instagram @claybykristina.
I have always loved creating art. Early on, I was coloring in the lines and drawing the best stick figures. Many years went by as I learned more styles and mediums. When I took a ceramics class I advanced quickly. My instructor and new friends pushed me as I sculpted piece after piece. Soon, I began appearing in galleries and stared a business!
My favorite piece is my dogs urn. I started making it for my dog Biscuit when I found out that he had tumors at an old age. Biscuit will always be with me in my heart.
If I could be any animal I would have a hard time choosing. It's a toss-up between dog and sloth. I know how my dogs live and let's just say they live a great life. On the other hand I'm a big sloth fan. The sloth is my spirit animal. How about I have the power to choose between the two each day!
My feelings towards animals are strong. For example, when I watch a movie where the animal gets hurt, or worse, it pains me. I physically can't watch certain movies, like Marley &Me, because it hurts so bad.
Want to see more of Kristina’s work? Click on the link & visit her on:
Instagram-click here or search by username @claybykristina
Facebook-click here or search by username Clay by Kristina -this is her brand new page, so go show her a little love and like it!