About the Artist

People ask Ken where he gets his inspiration. He says it comes from everywhere. He is an observant person, so he looks and studies. He might see an architectural feature on a building or a piece of jewelry someone is wearing. He adapts what he sees to the medium of clay.

Ken Drolet at work in his desert studio.

Most pieces are hand-built from slabs of clay. Ken uses either white or red stoneware depending on how intense and colorful or earthy and subtle the glaze colors are to be. He begins by rolling out a sheet of clay. It is then cut, formed, shaped, carved, incised, or added to as the final work takes shape. Over several days, the work is refined and modified as clay and artist have a dialogue to create the best result. Often Ken may incorporate an element, such as a spiraling clay ribbon, to add a sense of motion to the work. To provide richness in contrast, he may leave a portion of the raw clay exposed or apply paint on areas of a fired piece.

Ken at work in his desert studio

Ken says, “My purpose is to produce works that are pleasing to the eye and stimulate the imagination. I please myself. I make myself happy. My hope, of course, is that others will look at a piece and feel their own happiness.”

Ken also states, “Creating something artistic is a spiritual journey. There are many times in the creative process that the right solution to a dilemma is not of my own making. It simply comes. Also, it is not just a case of trying to make something out of the material, but the material adding its own spirit to what it will become.”

Though a native of Illinois, Ken Drolet today operates his full-time ceramic studio near Phoenix, Arizona. His current body of work centers on wall sculptures and free standing sculptures. His experience with a variety of clay bodies has led him to concentrate on white and red stoneware for the majority of his work.

Ken started to draw and paint at the age eight. Though he studied art and design in high school and college, his degree in business took him on a different path in life. At the same time, he never stopped using his creative energy. He has worked with oil paint and pastel. He made wood furniture that is both functional and sculptural. Later, when he discovered clay he found his true passion in life.