I’m completely compelled to the physical, concrete, and tactile nature of clay. As a painter, I struggled to bring in more three-dimensional elements into the work. After finding clay 20 years ago, I quickly let go of painting, but not the brush as I now paint with wax resist to achieve the vine patterning found on the surface of many of the pieces.
Much of the work is about textures that that satiate the human sense of touch with a bumpy surface, a fun protuberance, or a glassy smoothness layered over a matte surface. The other part of the work speaks to contrasts in color; pairing a gentle blue glaze with accents of vibrant red or a cool turquoise lay under a warm amber brown glaze.
I also enjoy the duality of fragility and strength in the medium of clay itself. While it can easily break when dropped, clay can also tolerate incredible heat, carry weight many more times its own, and can survive thousands of years leaving us with the beautiful gift of human history.
Many of ceramic pieces pay homage to my vibrant late grandmother, Thelma Rodriguez, in that she loved gardening and birds, which she kept as pets. The rosettes and floral buttons that accent many of the pieces were cast from her personal collection of vintage buttons. The lace patterning on some of the work was imprinted directly from her tablecloth and the bumpy dots mimic her chenille bedspread.
The process of making includes throwing on the potter’s wheel and then altering the pieces. I also handbuild some of my pieces from either slabs or molds I created. The first lower temperature firing turns the mud to quartz and allows a nice porosity for glazing. The vitrification process is completed with a final firing of almost 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and turns the glazes to glass. This results in ceramic ware that is microwave and dishwasher safe.
Liz Rodriguez Ceramics’ studio is now located in her private home on the ocean in Hull, Massachusetts and is open by appointment or during open studios. Please be sure to check the show schedule to learn about upcoming shows and open studio events. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂