Cathy Kiffney

Living in the deep woods and just down the road from my mother's horse farm I (find) enjoy daily opportunity to observe nature, the beauty and the beast.  I seek out the mystery and beauty experienced by a walk in the woods, the quiet places and secret gardens.  My recent works of wall pieces include a menagerie of birds, rabbits, moths, owls and foxes and imaginary animals coupled with botanical themes.  I endeavor to bring playfulness to my work and hope to create a meaningful connection between my work, the viewer and nature.


Over 25 years ago when I first began to work with clay I remember how astounding it was to me to create something of beauty out of a lump of mud. I was hooked.  My work is primarily hand built, using terra-cotta or white stoneware clay. Surfaces are painted with a variety of slips and glazes along with sgraffito on the surface.  Clay is a material of contradictions. It is challenging and forgiving, simple and complex, predictable and surprising, primitive and refined. I continue to learn and explore.

Even after hundreds of glaze tests and many experiments and thousands of firings it is still a surprise and hopefully a delight to open a kiln.  For over 25 years North Carolina Artist Cathy Kiffney has been creating colorful one-of-a-kind ceramic wall works, tiles and vessels. She began her work in clay on the potter’s wheel but soon found her interests lay in the decorative qualities of clay. She transitioned into hand-built sculptures and wall works utilizing clay as an armature for drawing, carving and painting.  She taught clay and sculpture classes for many years and built relationships with local and regional galleries. For the last 15 years she has been working in her studio full-time, concentrating on studio shows and commissions. She continues to work with a few select galleries.  Cathy has completed many projects for public buildings and specializes in hospitals. Her projects include NC Memorial Hospitals, Duke Hospitals, Mayo Clinic, Park Health Services and more. She lives in the woods of Orange County, NC with her husband, artist Mark Brown.