Lisa Ernst Porcelain
Jefferson City, Montana
I strive to make objects that hold function and artistry. Often, they have the quality of small sketches. Early influences: the Asian/European porcelain conversation, Mingei and mid-20th-century American potters.
1300 sq ft concrete floor. 300 sq ft of living space, kitchen/show room, 20' x 20' attached metal kiln shed. Large personal workspace: space for classes and occasional renters. Small electric kiln area, glaze making space, slop sink.
What type of clay do you use?
Grollegg porcelain/Kenzan Porcelain
What temperature do you fire to?
What is your primary forming method?
Wheel and slab roller
What is your favorite surface treatment?
Do you make any of your own tools?
What one word would you use to describe your work?
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
It's location in the mountains south of Helena MT. Roomy extremely functional spaces.
What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
What are your top three studio wishes?
1. Get my cone 10 electric hooked up with a digital firing system
2. Convert bisque kiln to digital firing system
3. 3D printer
What’s on your current reading list?
Ceramics Monthly articles on cation
How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Recycle clay, mostly
How do you recharge creatively?
Take time off whenever possible. Occasionally take workshops, observe demos. Visit the artists at the Archie Bray. Talk shop with colleagues.
Do you have any DIY tips for studio efficiency?
What challenges have you given yourself to overcome?
70 x 39" tile installation. Currently: larger complex sculpture to be installed on a building exterior.
What did your first piece look like?
First year in High school was when my formal clay education began. I made an asymmetrical tea bowl, gas fired with a nice reduction glaze.
What ceramic superpower would you have and why?
Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Ken Ferguson, Victor Babu, Frank Lutz. Teachers in Art school and Grad school. Gave me the tools.
What is your studio playlist?
Audio books, podcasts
Why do you create art?
To translate/reflect the vitality and beauty of the natural world: plants, leaves, pods, seeds, blossoms, birds, fish, frogs. Porcelain is Perfect.
What is your best studio tip?
Work ethic, intellectual curiosity, dependability, intelligence, resourcefulness. These will take you far.
If you could change one property of clay, what would it be?