Kay Franz's work has been greatly influenced by prominent artists like Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Paul Soldner, Toshiko Takaezu and Peter Voulkos as well as early pottery from the American Southwest, Japan and Korea. What for her began as an exploration of the vessel form has over the years evolved into work more sculptural in nature but still 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 is done using an outdoor barrel kiln filled with newspaper and sawdust to yield the smoky, fire-kissed final finish.
Kay earned her BFA in Crafts from the University of Georgia in 1972. Over the years, she attended many workshops and exhibited locally, regionally and nationally in various shows. She is a member of numerous national and local arts organizations including NCECA, Ceramics Arts Network, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, VMFA, Artspace, Art Works and Crossroads Art Center.