St. Theresa

  • Elena Karina, St. Theresa, 1979, glazed porcelain, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1980.99

Luce Center Label

Elena Karina used a variety of techniques such as casting, carving, and impressing the clay to create porcelain sculptures that simulate the marine life found in the tide pools on California beaches. She bisque fired each piece first, which changes the clay into a ceramic material and allows for the addition of stains and underglazes without risk of damaging the object during the higher temperature glaze firing. In St. Theresa, the undulating exterior paired with the threateningly sharp interior creates the illusion of a creature emerging from its home in a bed of coral.

Luce Object Quote
"I am really interested in the manipulation of certain shapes—which I think of as my alphabet—it’s a kind of vocabulary of shapes I have built up: the clusters of cones, the fan shapes, the bulbous pearl, crescents . . . I like to play with them, to combine and recombine them . . . pushing a certain gesture until I have pushed it as far as it will go." The artist, quoted in Elena Karina: New Porcelain Vessels & Drawings, Everson Museum of Art, 1979
St. Theresa
On View
9 x 14 in. (22.9 x 35.5 cm) diam.
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
glazed porcelain
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More Artworks from the Collection

porcelain, stoneware, underglazes, silver leaf, adhesive, and paint
thrown, carved and glazed porcelain