2020 Emerging Artist: Lukas Easton

Lukas Easton, Alfred Station, New York

Ceramics Monthly: What techniques do you use to make your work and why?

Lukas Easton: Going to the studio every day is the most important tool in my process. If I have enough pieces in progress, there is no time to sit down. Additionally, if I find myself stalling, I move on and start the next idea, then circle back when I am ready, thus adding to the studio momentum. I am easily distracted, so I often work in silence and leave my phone at home—disconnecting allows for more focus on my work. 

1 Lukas Easton’s September 24, 2019, 5 ft. (1.5 m) in height, stoneware, fired to cone 10 in reduction, 2019.

For most of my time in ceramics, the wheel has been my primary tool, giving me a language to frame my ideas within. Now I am developing new ways of exploring these same ideas off the wheel. I have also been very interested in carving. I started out using bent razor blades to do all my carving, and now I use wood carving tools that were made during my time in Indonesia. I have always been a bit of a tool junky; however, more recently I have been limiting myself to only using three or four tools at a time. This helps foster creative thinking and new ways of making.

CM: What do you think is the role of a maker within our current culture and how do you think you contribute to it?

LE: I hope to spend the rest of my life examining this question. I am writing this as I sit in my studio wondering how long my school will be closed and how humanity will respond to the COVID-19 pandemic currently encircling our planet. What is the role of the maker in an America without toilet paper? Is the maker irrelevant or critical to the current world dialog? Above all, I believe the role of a maker is to first ask these questions and then engage fellow humans in ways that cause them to pause and ask questions about their own lives. Makers have the opportunity to inject a new and maybe unconsidered perspective into viewers’ lives. This new variable is a chance to reconsider preconceived ideas about the complex and contradictory world we live in. My practice and my work are about investigating comfort and discomfort, good and evil, normal and deviant. It is easy to grow comfortable with my own worldview, so I attempt to question those views and be open to new ways of understanding existence. Go vote!

2 Lukas Easton’s Memory Still Life (front) and Tethered to My Past (background), to 4 ft. 6 in. (1.4 m) in height, stoneware, glaze, fired to cone 10 and cone 1, gold luster, wax, graphite, 2019.

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