Liz Summerfield Zlot

Artist Statement

Recontextualizing utilitarian objects is a common thread woven throughout my work. My interest lies in what an object once was and what it can become; this curiosity inspires me to create my work. I reference functional, everyday objects and intend to formalize them by focusing on their form, surface, and stance.

I am passionate about collecting and the theories involved. Why do we collect and display certain objects? What new meanings arise once they are grouped among similar objects? Within a collection everyday objects have the ability to gain importance as members of a whole. They start to become more than the sum of their parts, subtle nuances are noticed, and there is the potential to give value to valueless objects.

I find function a vehicle for expression, while also allowing approachability to my work. Sets, such as creamer and sugars and salt and peppers, lidded containers, and pails are my primary forms. My work is small and intimate in size. These handheld objects are constructed with slabs that softly drape over one another creating threedimensional drawings throughout the surface of the piece. These lines are kept visible to accentuate the process of the making.

What fuels my interest in the making of clay objects is a constant curiosity to fulfill a set of personal intentions. I believe this continuous search allows my work to remain sustainable and timeless.


Liz Zlot Summerfield attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to complete her Masters of Fine Arts in 2004. Since graduation, she has lived in Bakersville, North Carolina and currently works as studio artist and adjunct instructor in the Professional Crafts Program at Western Piedmont Community College located in Morganton, North Carolina She has been an instructor and visiting artist at numerous clay facilities, colleges, and universities. She exhibits and sells her work nationally through exhibitions, galleries, and fine craft shows.

She has been featured and on the cover of Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times magazine and has been included in a variety of ceramic publications.

Ceramics Arts Daily recently released an instructional DVD featuring Liz’s ceramic process and her work.