New ceramics instructor spins passion with pottery

Wilton Continuing Education will welcome a new ceramics instructor this month, and his name is Frank Kara.
Owner of Karaku Pottery in Bethel, Kara combines two of his passions — music and design — to create a variety of clay forms, ranging from drums and bells to wall sculptures and ceremonial teapots.
“I love bringing sound with the visual,” said Kara. “I enjoy blending my musical talents with making clay instruments.”
Beginning Sept. 21, Kara will teach Continuing Education’s eight-session Ceramics on the Wheel class, which will meet Monday evenings, from 7 to 9:30, at Wilton High School.
“I think clay is the most resourceful medium because you can make anything. You can mold it, you can build with it, you can throw it on the wheel, and you can reuse it,” said Kara. “The medium is so unlimited with what you can do with it.”

Kara said he “leans toward Asian-style pottery” and most of his creations are wheel-thrown, although he also enjoys hand-building.
“One big thing that I’ve been working on are Japanese temple bells. You can hang them outside your house and in your garden. People love them,” he said.
“I also make these drums from Africa called Udu drums, which are how I got into making the pottery.”
Kara first tried ceramics in high school.
“It came very naturally,” he said. “I like to create things with my hands, so it just clicked.”

Kara, who was also a percussionist drummer, decided to focus more on music and attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
“I took a long break from the pottery to do music,” he said, “but I was at a concert one day watching a percussionist play an Udu clay pot and I thought, ‘I could make those.’”
Kara began making Udu pots of his own and taking pottery classes at The Brookfield Craft Center with ceramic artist and author Kristin Muller. After honing his skill, Kara embarked on a life of pottery.
Although he has never formally taught a ceramics class, Kara said he is excited to be Continuing Education’s new instructor.
“People come to my studio and I give lessons here and there,” he said, “but I didn’t think about teaching until I got the call from Continuing Education.”
In Kara’s ceramics class, participants will create clay on wheels, gain the necessary skills to put their ideas into motion and work at many levels — from basic wedging to making lidded forms.
“I’ll have them doing wheel-throwing and basic to intermediate ceramics,” said Kara. “We’ll also do some firing in the electric kiln.”
There $215 fee for non-residents with a $15 discount for Wilton residents, as well as an $85 materials and firing fee.
Kara said he is looking forward to sharing his passion with others.
“It’s not easy to explain, but any artist can tell when they’ve got into their element,” he said. “Clay is my expression and it’s great to see people get what that expression is.”

Click here for more information or to register for Kara's Continuing Education ceramics class.