The pots I craft represent my place in the world, their physicality assembles a sense of the lineage I feel lacking. I am inspired by the myriad of forms and processes I encounter through experience and research: from traditional crafts to industrial ceramics to contemporary paintings. These influences combine to narrate a cultural identity that is revealed within the details of each piece.
I use imagery in a manner both nostalgic and iconic. Fragments of domestic patterns and textbook diagrams converse and instruct. Incised and drawn lines intersect and underlie the transfers- continuing the arc of a handle or emphasizing the awkwardness of a spout rammed against the body of a teapot.
The direct, seemingly casual manner in which I handle clay and glaze intersects with molded forms, stamps and decals; juxtaposing soft and hard edges, loose and formal lines. This contrast creates a tension between mass and delicacy, refinement and physicality, that I associate with elements of my own personality.
The back of a platter, the bottom of the foot, contain as much, or more, detail and deliberation as the exposed surfaces. These hidden areas help build the layers of information, not readily accessible, that must be discovered over time, through acts more intimate than merely gazing.
Thus, I find that something as straightforward as a cup can be a profound thing. Something simple and useful functions also as a record it its maker, an object of contemplation, of consumption, and an accessory to the rituals of both serving and dining.
Elizabeth Robinson is a full time Studio Artist and adjunct faculty at Colorado Northwestern Community College, in Rangely, an isolated town in the high desert mesa country of Northwestern Colorado. Elizabeth’s work is represented in galleries and included in numerous juried and invitational exhibitions nationwide.
Bringing together influences as diverse as 18th century English transferware, Japanese Oribe pottery, contemporary painting and industrial ceramics, Elizabeth’s pottery embodies a broad interest in the history of art and craft, ancient to industrial. She strives to make well formed, functional objects, with a sensuous surface, and relaxed posture, that record the transformation of material through process. Often functioning as a display piece as well as a utilitarian vessel, her pieces take advantage of porcelain’s affinity for both delicacy and density, and as a ground for luminous color.
Having discovered a passion for clay on the way to a degree in Botany, Elizabeth decided her interest in beauty, process and morphology was better served as a potter. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 1994, Elizabeth traveled widely seeking to expand her knowledge and skills. She worked in studios across the country, from non-profit art centers, to academia to production studios, including the Mendocino Art Center (CA), Hoyman-Browe Studio (CA), CU Boulder (CO), Carbondale Clay Center (CO) and the Archie Bray Foundation (MT). Upon completing her Masters of Fine Arts degree at Ohio University in 2002, she returned to Colorado to work as Program Director for the Carbondale Clay Center, a non-profit community arts organization, while maintaining an active studio life and exhibition schedule.
In 2004 Elizabeth made the transition into full time work as a self supporting studio potter, which included marriage, a move to the boondocks, and buying and renovating an old building into her studio. She welcomes any visitor willing to make the trek.