Ceramic artists list
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Spotlight

Interview with Liza Riddle - Recognized artist, June-July 2011

Interview with ceramic artist Liza Riddle - Spotlight - Recognized artist, June-July 2011

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Ceramics Now Magazine
: What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?

Liza Riddle: I am exploring using soluble metal salts on low-fired porcelain clay, a project I began two years ago and am just now achieving the effects I desire.  All of my work is hand coiled, then carefully burnished to a smooth finish.  I bisque fire the clay at earthenware temperatures, paint them with water soluble metals – iron, nickel, cobalt and other salts, and fire again at low temperatures.


Three Closed Forms - View Liza Riddle’s works

Ceramics Now Magazine: Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces and what motivates you?

I seek to create work that evokes a sense of wonder and mystery, forms that beckon to be held and admired.  I delight in closely observing and then interpreting natural objects and events – weathered boulders on a mountain slope, wind ripples on a gray blue sea, complex designs on a delicate bird egg – their rhythms, patterns and forces have greatly inspired my work.  I am an avid traveler and hiker.  During my adventures I have discovered the magnificent pottery of ancient cultures in the American Southwest, South America, and Asia, which speak to me in very profound ways.   

In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use? Do you find working with soluble salts hard?

I have been experimenting with soluble metal salts for the past two years, a collaboration with my husband, Mark Goudy, which draws on the inspirational work of the master of soluble metals, Arne Åse. Through trial and error, I have developed my own techniques for applying these almost transparent, highly sensitive “watercolors.” The chemicals are toxic and care must be taken while working with them, so my experiences working with photography chemicals and in a scientific laboratory have been extremely helpful. Although metal salts are challenging to work with, I love the sense of anticipation as I wait for a kiln load to finish firing, the joy of seeing their almost magical effects. Some results are disappointing, but I enjoy challenges. Because working with metal salts requires continual testing, inventing and learning, I am certain this project will keep me engaged for quite a long while.

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  • Interview with Shane Porter - Recognized artist, May 2011

    Interview with ceramic artist Shane Porter - Spotlight - Recognized artist, May 2011

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    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : In what techniques do you usually work and what materials do you use?

    Shane Porter: My practice is multi-disciplinary in nature, from the way I draw, plan installations and think about different concepts. These areas intertwine from the research that informs my work- by rough scribbled drawings on scraps of paper, to precise computer aided illustrations. I usually need to see my pieces in three dimensions before going any further so after the initial drawing stage, I will construct rough maquettes (usually made from paper, card etc.) to get a sense of scale and presence. The series Vessels 2010 were first made from turned plaster using a lathe and from that initial investigation I played with scale and proportions before turning to clay to make the finished objects. Vessels 2010 were made in two separate stages. A bowl-like press mould was made and a large mass of white stoneware was pinched into it so to not create any seams. A top was then made from a slab of clay and the rather rough pieces where joined together and then slow dried for 4 days. The pieces were then turned on the wheel to create the desired form and finish. I am interested in clinical forms, which flirt with the idea of mass production, but which disrupt this notion by subtle marks of the maker. 


    What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?

    “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.”- Matthew 16:24

    My work explores the role and function of the Vessel within ritual theory and practice. I am currently developing a new body of Vessels which are inspired by the practice of Corporal Mortification used in Orthodox Christian traditions.  Corporal Mortification is the practice of inflicting pain on the body as a type of spiritual psychology which uses the ‘body to affect the mind’, punishing man for carnal desires and indulgences, therefore becoming closer to the divine.

    This work is still in an early stage of development and I am beginning to create a series of porcelain paper clay Vessels which challenge the function and ergonomics of the ritual container. I am interested in juxtaposing materials in unusual ways which enable the viewer to question the various connotations which are deep rooted in society. I manipulate typography, clay and organic materials to create narratives and conversations across the work.

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  • Interview with Cynthia Lahti - Recognized artist, April 2011

    Interview with ceramic artist Cynthia Lahti - Spotlight- Recognized artist, April 2011

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    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : What is your present project, what’s its history and how do you make the pieces?

    Cynthia Lahti: I am working on several ideas right now: people wearing disguises, busts of elegant women, and male/ female couples. These are all subjects that have always interested me but that I have never fully explored.

    I am also continuing to use some of the broken piece from my discarded sculptures that I have saved. This idea started in 2010 with he creation of the sculpture Vault Alarm that was composed of broken sculptures. In my current exploration of this idea, I am experimenting with combining the broken pieces together to form a new figure. This idea came from realizing that when I destroying unsuccessful sculptures, body pieces that remained were often extremely interesting to me and I could not discard them. I am finally inspired to see how they look combined together and I have been very excited by the results.


    Socks - View her works

    In what technique do you usually work and what materials do you use?

    I am focusing on hand-built ceramic sculptures of human and animal figure(s). I like to use a wide variety of clay bodies, my favorite being porcelain.  I have used all types of firing techniques to achieve the final surface treatment on the pieces. I am most excited but the results I have been getting from cone 10 soda and salt firings and low fire raku.

    What was the starting point in your investigation?

    I start by finding images of figures that intrigue me in older books and magazine, I then do drawing of the images and finally sculptures, inspired by these drawings, are create out of clay.

    My art is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions. Like the varied objects and images I draw on for inspiration - from 1940s knitting catalogs and outsider art, to Native American cedar carvings and Degas’ sculptures of dancers—my artworks force an explanation of reality and compel viewers to connect to a larger human experience. Currently I am focusing on ceramic sculpture based on expressive images of the figure I find in a variety of source materials.

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