Kay Franz’s work has been greatly influenced by prominent artists such as Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Paul Soldner, Toshiko Takaezu, and Peter Voulkos, as well as early pottery from the American Southwest, Japan, and Korea. What began as an exploration of the vessel form has over the years evolved into more sculptural work, but owes much to the traditional vessel form.
Kay uses a combination of slabs and coils, often molded over found or created forms to build her pieces. Slips and glazes are done over raw or bisque-fired ware. Some pieces are stained using acrylic washes prior to sawdust firing. The final firing uses an outdoor barrel kiln filled with newspaper and sawdust to yield the smoky, fire-kissed final finish.
Kay earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in crafts from the University of Georgia in 1972. Over the years, she attended many workshops and exhibited locally, regionally, and nationally. She is a member of numerous national and local arts organizations, including National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts, Ceramics Arts Network, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, Virginia Museum of Fina Arts, Artspace, Art Works, and Crossroads Art Center.