Monday, September 21, 2009

Instructor Introduction: Lisa Harris

Please tell us a little about yourself; your name, background, education, and a fun fact or two:
My name is Lisa Harris. I graduated from Grinnell College in 1975 (the Pleistocene) with a BA in Fine Arts and continued at the Evanston Art Center (EAC) and the Art Institute for post–grad studies. I have been a studio member and instructor at Lillstreet for over 20 years. I also teach ceramics at. EAC, and have led numerous workshops at the Art Institute, Stirling Hall, and Terra Incognito for e.g.

Fun Facts: I do a pretty good Louis Armstrong singing "Bess You is My Woman Now."
I have been called "The Great Finder of Things."
I love languages and the surprising connections between words.

How long have you been working with clay and how did you get started?
I started working in clay in college. It embodied a variety of disciplines-drawing, painting, handcrafts, geology, philosophy, science, that appealed to my young mind.

What are your influences, both inside and outside of the clay world?
I am very much influenced by painters (Degas, De Chirico, Diebenkorn), classical pianists (Rubenstein, Horowitz Ashkenazy), and composers (Debussy, Brahms, Bach, CHOPIN, Beethoven, Mozart); the work of Eric Jensen, Ferguson, Michael Simon, Ruth Duckworth, Ellen Shankin, etc.

Do you sell your work? If so, how can one find it?
I do a lot of commissions. I have work at Terra Incognito and at Lill and currently in downtown Evanston with Art Under Glass. You can always come to my studio for sales -- all are welcome. Please come, please.

What advice can you give to students of the ceramic arts?
Practice, practice, practice. Read, study your craft and the works of others. Keep an open mind and trust your instincts.

How do you spend your time when not working with clay?
Knitting, playing piano, drawing ,gardening, cleaning up cat messes…You know, all the usual things.

Any parting words?
I never thought I would blog. I love my students -- they are all interesting characters. I enjoy pealing away the layers and getting to know them . They keep me engaged and on my toes.


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