"When my daughter was born in 1982 I wanted to be able to make her a complete tea set suitable as a keepsake," said Kathy.
"Many of the pieces were created, but never seemed to make it into the same kiln load so they never quite made it to form a full, matching set that would be a keepsake. The minis just got played with," she added.
Before dreams of that exquisite heirloom set she had created miniature pots as a means of testing glazes on certain forms before mixing a large batch. These pots were not necessarily to any size scale, and meant only as a form to demonstrate the properties of the different glazes she created.
"I would not call myself a true miniaturist because many of my items are not to exact scale, but I do enjoy creating small scale pottery. I can't say that there has been one true inspiration but I've learned a lot from many people. I've also learned just how difficult it is to make these tiny scale pieces, even more difficult than throwing full-size pots," she said.
Her current projects include creating lidded forms and learning to stay true to the traditional dollhouse scale of 1:12.
"I try every day to throw a few and evaluate and measure them. I'm also working on some glazes and painting techniques to enhance the forms. I've made a few very tiny clay stamps, and some plaster press molds to see how they will work with the forms. I love terra cotta and as soon as I'm able I want to make some majolica replicas of some of the redware and slipware I've seen," she said.
Her favorite tools include such offbeat items as barbecue skewers, dental tools, a garlic press and her own fingernails for creating the clay pieces and medical syringes for glazing. With these and a little bit of imagination, it's possible for anything to appear in her kiln. Lurking in her imagination at the moment is a lamp.
"I'd love to make a lamp with a pressed cut tin shade," she said.
She is retired from a career in social work. Current health problems have restricted her membership in clubs and participation in shows. She is a past member of the Manitoba Craft Council and the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba.