About

Irma Starr creates her works in the slipware tradition, which involves painting with clay that has been thinned with water and tinted with mineral oxides.

Irma Starr creates her works in the slipware tradition, which involves painting with clay that has been thinned with water and tinted with mineral oxides.
Photo Credit: KC Star


Irma’s Starr’s artistic journey has been a trip back in time; she’s is a 17th century slipware artist. While viewing the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s famous Burnap Collection of ceramics, Irma fell in love with the slipware mermaid on a plate, by English slipware artist Ralph Toft, and has never looked back.

Irma Starr began her journey in 1963, when, as a mother of two and a senior at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI), she was given a life-changing assignment; go to the Nelson-Atkins, just across the street from KCAI, choose a piece of ceramic art and reproduce it. The rest is history. In 2002, she was commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute to create a 36-inch commemorative plate for the 30th Anniversary of the Renwick Gallery, where it is now hanging.

She is accomplished in all of the classic glazing techniques: combing, feathering, marbling, and slip-trailing. Starr has been commissioned by private connoisseurs, museums, companies, and the White House to create commemorative pieces.





Quick Facts About Irma Starr:

  • Specializes in 17th-century English Slipware Pottery
  • Works of art include commemorative plates, decorative ornaments, jewelry and figurines.
  • In 2000, Hillary Clinton commissioned her to make a commemorative plate for the Clintons’ 25th wedding anniversary. She has also done ornaments for the White House Christmas tree
  • In 2002, the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art commissioned her to create a commemorative plate for the Renwick’s 30th anniversary.
  • Her work can be seen at leading museums around the nation, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the National Museum of American Art.
  • Her studio is based in Kansas City, MO.




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