about carla funk I am a self-taught artist and have taken many art classes primarily in ceramics, painting & drawing, and classes for developing teaching art to children. My interest in tile art and a strong desire to create, along with perseverance are the corner posts of my success. During my early childhood, my family encouraged me when they let me draw on the walls! The wallpaper was going to be removed and replaced with paint!  They’d say things like;” You’re an artist,” and they actually encouraged me to draw on the walls. Well that was just the beginning and perhaps gave me some confusion as to where the boundaries were!  In early childhood I had a couple of very important influences in my young life that left strong impressions on me. One of them was an artist who lived in the same apartment building who generously gave me a lesson in drawing and let me watch him draw & paint. Another was a close family friend who showed me how to mix the  primary colors: red, yellow & blue: into a rainbow of colors that I never imagined possible! During my teens I was commissioned to paint scenes in acrylics for some family friends. Then during my 20’s I started a window and sign painting business, and painted holiday window designs at Christmas time and other holidays for many years. I had taken classes in weaving and learned how to macramae (remember the 70's?) I had created some awesome wall  hangings and of course plant hangers.

For a few years my passion was watercolor, so I showed and sold some of my work at local arts shows. Nothing had taken a serious development at that point as I was attending classes and attempting many mediums.  

My husband became a ceramic tile setter in the early 80’s and introduced me to the designs of tile artists whose works he was installing in kitchens and bathrooms, and that was the beginning of my painting on tile. I bought some glazes and some tiles and a friend had an old tabletop kiln she let me borrow, so I was experimenting with glaze on tile. I liked the way the glazes came out of the firing process, so I enrolled in some classes and learned about the different techniques. I was making tile address tiles for friends, family, and my home, plus a small mural for our shower. I was enjoying this newfound art form that had to be fired in a kiln at 1860 degrees, always with the element of surprise when opening the kiln (it was like Christmas morning) to see the beautifully shiny tiles I had created. By this time it was 1983 and I was ready to begin a new career direction and start a family. A couple of years later my son was born and I put these creative endeavors on the back burner for a while; but picked up the paint brushes again when I found the time. I’ve developed my style over the past 25 years of painting on tile. I began my pursuit of creating with clay in the late 1980’s, and have fallen in love with the medium and the endless possibilities that clay affords. I began making tiles around 1999, and I find the oceanic and beach themes and mermaid sculptures to be a natural expression for me. I was born in Los Angeles, and have lived my life in southern California as a beach girl/artsy type, and so it seems a natural expression for my designs. I was commissioned to create a sculpted piece measuring 36” by 18”  by the California State Parks for the San Clemente State Park Camp ground. It is the back wall for a fountain depicting seashells and seaweeds found on that coastal shore. It is a high-sculpted relief from red clay, with a light terra cotta glaze, pressed from molds I made for the thirteen sculpted pieces to fit in an organic puzzle piece composition for duplication for home and garden installations.

I have found that sharing my creativity in teaching art to children has been a most pleasurable experience and have been since 1986, starting with art enrichment programs and continuing with volunteering in my son’s classes since he was in pre-school through elementary school. I have taught in the public and private sector, and for the last 16 years, have staged an art camp at my home every summer with the primary focus in hand building in clay. It gives me much pleasure to share my creative knowledge with students as they delight in their own process of  self expression and experiencing and mastering the art materials.

about carla funk about carla funk