Elizabeth McGiff - potter
My relationship to clay has been a gradual one. At first it was just a few projects with my students as an elementary school art teacher, then solely teaching ceramics to High School students, and now becoming a full-time studio potter spending my days, one way or another, in the highly process-oriented activity of working with clay. Working with this one material, that is given to us from the earth, helps me feel connected in a way nothing else does. I make many of my tools; hump molds, texture stamps, and kiln props, from the same clay as my finished work. I work with slab and hand building techniques as well as wheel thrown parts. As a one-person operation I work in small batches. This lets me explore many different ideas in what I make as well as how I glaze my work. It’s a slow, intimate process that is in stark contrast to the fast, mass production of the industrial ceramics most of us grew up with.
I make things that are going to be a personal part of someone’s household. Whether it’s the casual relationship you have with your favorite mug for your morning coffee or afternoon tea, or a more formal use to elevate one’s nightly dinner or flowers just cut from the garden. Living with handmade ceramics in your life lets you celebrate our connection to the earth, and embrace the beauty of imperfections found in the one-of-a-kind. As a potter, I feel honored when my work leaves my home to become part of yours.