“I have been deeply inspired by the rhythm, patterns and forces of life, boulders on a Sierra slope, the sensual shoulder line of a human figure, wind ripples on a gray blue sea and, during extensive travels around the world, by the ceramic work of ancient cultures, carefully crafted work that speaks to me, perhaps from the maker’s spirit still residing in the artifacts themselves.
I draw on the same techniques these cultures used to hand coil my vessels, using smooth porcelaineous clay. Some pieces are carefully burnished and polished before firing, others are sanded after being low-fired to soften edges and create a fine, matte texture.
My pieces are unglazed, and without a glassy surface, have the same cool, smooth feel of a weathered pebble on a sandy shore. Instead of glazing, I paint the bisqued vessels with water soluble metals – iron, nickel, cobalt and other salts – chemicals that permeate the non-vitrified clay and reveal the earth’s elemental palette after firing. Through trial and error, I have developed my own mixtures of metal salts and techniques for applying these almost transparent “watercolors.”
Metal salts are often unpredictable, but can create magical patterns – halos encircling galaxies of dots, colors that break from an iron-rich red to brilliant cobalt sky blue, subtle designs that mimic the colors and patterns of nature.” Liza Riddle
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