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Gary Carstens

Artist and Owner

“Its not what you look at that matters, its what you see.” (Thoreau)

The direction of my clay work both sculptural and functional has always been brought by the landscape. Often what is hidden and not immediately revealed. Understanding, seeing, and finding a voice to interpret into clay is a very personal journey. The reward makes that fleeting moment of sight and interpretation permanent and recorded.


All clay work is high fired stoneware. My preferred firing method is atmospheric wood fire with salt. All functional work is durable and withstands the rigor of daily use. Glazes are non-toxic and food safe.

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Carstens has been working with clay since 1974 where, as the art department assistant at college he helped set up and begin the ceramics program as a sculpture student.

He has worked steadily in clay since that time and was offered the purchase of Mississippi Mud studios in 2003. Serving local potters and holding classes the studio has become more of a private studio over the last ten years. Devoting more energy to personal development, Carstens focuses his energies on expanding the evolution of his sculptural forms. Several years ago Gary began work with an apprentice, Tab Link. Now studio mate, and often teacher, they work together supporting each other’s personal journey.

Today, Carstens is an occasional lecturer for local college programs on the subject of Art, Beauty, and Meaning.  He also frequently demos traditional techniques at colleges and high schools. Gary is an instructor at The Adamah Clay Center in Wisconsin holding two wood/Salt fire workshops annually. He has recently assisted John Britt with an experimental woodfire workshop

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