Lisa Harnish Creations 
Wheel Thrown Porcelain
Sgraffito in Terra Sigillata
Naked Raku

I first began working with clay in January 2002. I currently particpate in a recurring open studio class at Chandler Gilbert Community College, under Al Pace's instruction, as well as taking numerous local and regional workshops. The open studio class time allows me access to equipment and resources where I can develop my technical skills and knowledge. I'm highly motivated, and work well in this self-paced environment.


I focus primarily on wheel thrown vessels in porcelain clay. From the very first moment I sat down at the wheel, I was enthralled. The hypnotic motion of the spinning wheel was mesmerizing. I found a tranquility and peace of mind in the process of throwing that was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. As a result of that transcendence, my forms feature smoothly transitioned curves that invite the hand to caress them.


As I became more confident in my throwing techniques, I realized I could further enhance my work with surface decorations. I've experimented with a variety of decorating techniques, including glaze colors, thick slip textures quickly fingered onto the pot, and precise, painstakingly detailed sprigs and incised carvings. My specialty is sgraffito in colored terra sigillata. In this technique a highly refined thin slip colored with metallic oxides is brushed onto bone dry greenware. A design is then drawn into the terra sig, all the way through to the softened surface of the pot. The negative space around the design is carved away, leaving a detailed texture that is later enhanced by glaze during the final firing. The drawn designs take their inspiration from nature, such as seaweed waving in the water, or plant vines that wind their way around a bottle. After carving, the pots are bisque fired, glazed and fired.


The combination of form and surface decoration can produce sometimes dramatic results. Some pieces are very formal, others seem to belong to another planet. As a whole, I think my works speaks to my desires to escape the trials and tribulations of living an ordinary life, and be transported to a magical realm elsewhere.


In Spring 2009, I finally made an important investment in an electric kiln. Firing in oxidation in an electrical kiln is a very different process, than just leaving glazed ware on a shelf at school for the staff to load into a natural gas-fired reduction kiln. My wares have taken on some new "looks" as I learned how to make the most of my new toy, er, tool. 

In addition to making pottery, I have also tried my hand at stained glass, embroidery, beading and jewelry. I volunteer my time as a member of the Artists Advisory Council (AAC) for the Ceramics Research Center of ASU's Art Musuem. I have lived in Chandler, Arizona, since 1995. When not making pottery, I also hold down a full time job as Director of Certification for Certification Partners LLC.

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