Gary Carstens • Dubuque, IA• Stoneware and Porcelain

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As an observer and participant in natural places, Gary Carstens finds himself drawn to geologic planes, vertical and horizontal lines and other structures that define both intimate and far-reaching environments. These elements have been the inspiration and focus of his current body of work.

His pottery is built from stoneware, paper clay or porcelain, and high fired in a wood kiln located near Dodgeville, Illinois.


Carstens sculptural work relates to tree and landscapes he studied in  North Carolina, upper Wisconsin and along the river north of Dubuque.

The planes of intersecting lines form the horizontal sections of the clay slabs, and together with the negative spaces, they bring to mind the rolling hills and bluffs of Carsten's observations.

Inspiration for the large bottle shapes are taken from tree structures.

Wood firing gives the sculptural work an earthy, natural and sometimes rock-like feel.


Carstens was born in Oak Park, Illinois and received his B.A in fine art with an emphasis in sculpture and ceramics from Monmouth College, Monmouth , Illinois.

He is presently the owner and instructor of Mississippi Mud Studios in Dubuque and is a member of 20 Dirty Hands, an association of potters offering a ceramic studio tour in the fall of the year.

Carstens and his wife reside in Dubuque, Iowa.


Outside the Lines Art Gallery • Connie Twining & Stormy Mochal, Owners
1101 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001 • (563)-583-9343 • 101 S Main St, Galena, IL 61036
• (815)-776-9166

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