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Join date: Jun 19, 2023


A long studio career has given me continuity throughout my life: an intimate relationship with creativity through ceramics. At this point, clay and I are dear, old friends. I notice creativity is always flowing and whenever it appears blocked, that’s simply my signal to become still; to drop below the chattering mind.

Cultural conditioning directs me to doing, doing and more doing as a recipe for progress. In point of fact, it’s the willingness to not “do, do, do” that has made all the difference. It’s the willingness to be empty and to wait that allows images and ideas to arise. Sometimes they come only as the tiniest step. So I take that step. And from there, I’m delighted that another appears and so on. It’s fun to trust and allow in this way. It feels more like a conversation… a collaboration then ‘me’ doing it all alone.

On account of this allowing, I have found myself over the decades shape-shifting a number of times as a maker. In the earlier years I felt quite comfortable claiming the title of “Potter” or “Thrower”. But as time went by, the wheel became no more important than a rolling pin… just another tool through which to facilitate an idea. And pots yielded space in my psyche to explore sculpture. And in recent years, it’s all landed on its head such that my comfort now comes more from not claiming any identity at all. They seem too confining: “Potter”, “Sculptor”, “Storyteller”… I leave it to the viewer and the lens of time to assign labels. For my part, I’ll stay in the open space of stillness where I feel connected to this life force: Creativity. It’s from that place I facilitate ideas which support me to navigate life through this old friend, clay.

Select exhibitions: Michener Art Museum, Smithsonian and Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Shows. Lisa has lectured and given workshops across the US and in Australia. In 2005 she was awarded an NCECA residency in Australia which fundamentally changed her studio life.

Lisa Naples

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