Eny Lee Parker creates both furniture and jewelry in ceramics. Focusing on terracotta, she has developed a world where grand design meets minimalistic sensibility in the most on-trend manner. The sizeable vessels that support her glass-top tables are both dramatic and sleek. They are handmade at a scale that not many potters have attempted, much less produced at a precision required for furniture design. Using vessels as table legs give a whole new meaning to functional pottery, as the ceramics function in a completely new way. The glass tops of the tables allow the ceramics to steal the show.

Eny is based in Savannah, Georgia. She started ceramics in college where she mastered in furniture design. In addition to the grand scale of furniture, she also designs the small scale of jewelry so fans of hers can access her work at a different price point.

Here we talk with Eny about her work, her process and whether she considers herself a designer or ceramicist.

How did you get into ceramics?

I took a local ceramic class with some friends and really loved it. I had the opportunity to do an artist residency and took advantage of using clay as my main medium so I could learn more about the material.

SCAD Savannah – Fall 2016 – Atelier Program – Artwork Documentation – Eny Lee Parker – Photography by John McKinnon

Tell us a bit about your background in furniture, and why you’ve decided to make ceramic furniture?

I studied Interior Design for my undergrad and did my masters in Furniture Design. I think clay just came easy for me. Other people were great at woodworking, welding and so on, my thing was ceramics.

SCAD Savannah – Fall 2016 – Atelier Program – Artwork Documentation – Eny Lee Parker – Photography by John McKinnon

You also create ceramic jewelry, what inspired you to take this route as it’s so different from furniture.

I was tired of the scale of products I was designing. Shipping large products is not fun, so I wanted to shift into something smaller, different price point. I learned a lot through the whole process. It’s nice to do both.

Your work is very design focused, do you consider yourself more of a designer or a ceramicist? And why?

I’d say my background is definitely design heavy. I don’t know enough about ceramics to be an official “ceramist”. It’s been two years, and I’m still learning and winging so much.

What is your creative process like?

Pretty hands on I’d say. I don’t get attached to my designs, it’s usually a pretty quick decision and see what happens. I model them on the computer first to make sure it’d translate the way I think. I like visiting galleries and museums, it’s probably the nicest way to feed my visual senses.

What does a typical day in your studio look like?

Lot of audiobooks, podcasts, emails and packaging things.
I normally do emails and admin work in the morning, and hands-on work for the rest of the day. Get work a little longer on my laptop before I go to bed. The goal is to eventually have weekends off!

What are you working on now?

Few commissions for a hotel and restaurant, keeping the webshop restocked as well as wholesale orders. A collaboration that will be presented during design week in New York, and our furniture booth showcasing some other new ceramic works during that same week at ICFF.