Beverley Ellis
Surrey, British Columbia



Artist Statement
Humanity and nature are my muse. In the work are themes of beauty in brokenness, commonality in frailty, and imperfection, strength, and resilience. Grappling with humanity through nature's lens, it is with hope, anchored in possibility, that I create.

Studio Description
My studio walls have red, clay brick, 4 large windows looking onto trees and flowers. One wall is floor to ceiling shelves, another a huge sink. Middle of the room is a large, canvas work table, off to the side are two kilns, and a slab roller.

What type of clay do you use?
Mostly, I use a raku clay, a porcelain clay, and stoneware clay.

What temperature do you fire to?
With the exception of raku, I fire to 1196° C.

What is your primary forming method?
I mostly handbuild my sculptures.

What is your favorite surface treatment?
I really enjoy creating highly textured surfaces through a mixture of mark-making and sculpting.

Do you make any of your own tools?
I make sprigs, and press molds, repurpose found objects from nature, and thrift stores to make desired molds and textures. I use old credit cards, and cut and shape them to use for sculpting.

What one word would you use to describe your work?

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
I love the natural light in my studio. It boasts four large windows and looks out into nature.

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
So hard to choose - my large sculpting table and my tall cone-art kiln, and slab roller.

What are your top three studio wishes?
More space! There is never enough for all I want to do! A huge front loading kiln so I can make even larger sculptures without breaking my back! Time.

What’s on your current reading list?
The Artist's Way, Secret Life of Trees, Ceramics Monthly.

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Recycle all my clay, purchase clay boxes in groups of 10, purchase only what I will use.

How do you recharge creatively?
Walking my dog in nature, kayaking, sketching, printmaking painting, reading, writing, creating something delicious for family and friends, laughter

Do you have any DIY tips for studio efficiency?
After every cycle of work, I do a complete studio clean. This makes my workspace fresh and my mind clear. It enables me to start with any clay body.

What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
The last two installation art pieces, had great challenges. The first challenge was size, weight, and how to construct 6' tall pieces, 4-track hanging.

What did your first piece look like?
I'm pretty sure it was a pathetic tiny wheel work, that I overworked! Fun, cow-themed sculptures were next with inspiration from: Fafard and Cicansky.

What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
Figureoutability! Slab building big and fast, working with soft slabs. I'm impatient and immediate in my building. I like figuring out new challenges.

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Kieth Rice-Jones. He opened his home and studio to me, and taught me, too.

What is your studio playlist?
I love podcasts in the studio! I tune into a variety of subjects, and love hearing peoples stories.

Why do you create art?
I am driven, I am compelled, I am thrust forward by a force so rooted inside me, so convincing, I will stay up nights and sacrifice much: passion.

What is your best studio tip?
I have two complete sets of tools, one for white clay, and one for red clay. Newspaper is a great studio helper, and recycles well. Has many uses!

If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?
It would never slump in firing, always hold its shape.

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