Lisa Pedolsky’s forms are slab constructed in terra cotta, a low fire earthenware clay. Initially a piece is conceived as a two dimensional drawing, followed by the creation of pattern pieces. Package design and dressmaking come to mind as the piece is brought to life by cutting, folding, darting and connecting. Visual and tactile depth is developed through the application of multiple layers of clay, slips, stains and a colorful palette of glazes, and by scraping, incising and carving into the surface
Lisa Pedolsky at MudFire
Lisa Pedolsky Artist Bio
Lisa Pedolsky's involvement in art began at an early age, encouraged by a family of "creatives" and inspired by the rich cultural atmosphere in and around New York City. In the early seventies, she immigrated to California where, in the decades preceding her arrival, ceramics had experienced a radical transformation as an art medium. Residing in the Bay Area for seven years, she studied ceramics and fine art at California College of Arts and Crafts and U.C. Berkeley. After a 20-year hiatus from clay, during which time she turned to expression in other media, Lisa returned to ceramics in 1999. She currently teaches workshops, lectures and shows her work in galleries and exhibitions nationally. Her studio is located in Durango, Colorado.
Lisa Pedolsky Artist Statement
The handbuilt functional forms I create go beyond strict utility. They are also vessels that hold personal references where a myriad of experiences and ideas reside, establishing context and giving meaning to the work.
My influences are as far ranging as childhood toys, calligraphic texts, architecture and textiles. The thread that unites this seemingly disparate collection is function. I am drawn to things that work, objects that serve a purpose. Simultaneously, I have an appreciation for design that is lucid and unencumbered. I seek beauty, whether in execution of design or adornment, and hold a deep appreciation for objects that are cohesive in all their elements.
Often, my references make themselves apparent long after a piece has been conceived and may be revealed in subtle and surprising ways. A form comprised of two connected cones, lying on its side on my worktable, is startlingly like the string-operated wooden spinning tops of my childhood. A feeling of nostalgia springs forth the moment the connection is made. Laying down the sgraffito marks of the "visual text" I have developed - a direct reference to calligraphy - conjures up the memory of an exquisite Japanese textile I have beheld and the reverence I have for the unknown maker of such a piece. This is the connective tissue that brings meaning to what I do as an artist.
All of my ceramic forms are slab constructed in terra cotta, fired in oxidation to cone 04. Initially a piece is conceived as a two dimensional drawing, followed by the creation of pattern pieces - deconstructed versions of the ultimate three dimensional form - which are attached to the clay slab. Package design and dressmaking come to mind as the piece is brought to life by cutting, folding, darting and connecting. Visual and tactile depth is developed through the application of multiple layers of clay, slips, stains and glazes, and by scraping, incising and carving into the surface. This working process is slow and methodical.
I find I develop an intimate relationship with each piece I create. Even when working in series I will discover the nuances unique to each form. These individual characteristics may be the result of variances in moisture from one clay slab to the next, a more gentle or forceful touch, the use of a different tool or, sometimes, the inexplicable. The process itself, therefore, can be revealing as the work teaches me.
My work is intended to move from my hands to another's, and is there that the full potential of a piece may be found. While my forms are recognizable - a box, a bottle, a bowl - my intention is to evoke a deeper response. Functionality - to store in, to pour from, to serve with - is the doorway, discovery is the goal. Whether a piece reveals my source of inspiration, offers an opportunity for aesthetic contemplation or provides the deep satisfaction that comes from interacting with a thoughtfully crafted object, the most successful work conveys something more than the sum of its parts.