Photos by Rebecca Strumpf
Liz Quan‘s iconic coral sculptures came from an exploration in clay. Because of her method creating intuitive iterations of form, she worked on her sculptures until they spoke to her. A subconscious calling to the sea perhaps, she named her sculptures after coral as the porcelain closely resembles the organism. These sculptures are included in various functions from jewelry to lighting.
Liz works from her studio in Boulder, Colorado on the weekends while designing books during the week. She has built quite a following with her work as a ceramicist showing at galleries and hosting open studios. Here we talk with Liz about her creative process as well as where she gets her inspiration from.
How did you get into ceramics?
After working as an art director in publishing for many years, I missed working with my hands. I took many classes and explored multiple mediums such as leather, jewelry, and woodturning. They were all so fun and interesting, but clay was the medium that stuck.
You are a book designer during the week, does your aesthetic in both design and ceramics ever overlap or inspire one another?
No, they don’t inform each other, but I find them to be compliments. Graphic design is 2-dimensional and has a specific editorial message with set parameters for the project. Clay is 3-dimensional with no parameters. My time with clay is time to play and be free of any preconceived ideas. I tend to not be literal and place graphics on pieces but, instead, create lines in space.