Fine ceramics for everyday living by Lisa Van de Water

I have been dabbling in pottery for the last 25 years, but in 2016, I took the leap and started Cerise de Terre Ceramics. Using porcelain, I strive to make functional pieces with keen attention to detail in design, form, and function.

I am a process person. I love figuring out new techniques to get results that express my personal aesthetic. My favorite technique, sgraffito, involves carving or etching designs into wheel-thrown, unfired clay forms (greenware) that have been layered with black underglaze (colorant). This technique is reminiscent of woodcut lithographs, and I love to set off the black-and-white graphic designs with brightly colored glazes. Most recently, I have been exploring the modern use of an ancient Japanese pottery technique—Mishima. As with sgraffito, I use black underglaze, but instead of removing the black, I add it as an inlay into fine-line engravings in the porcelain greenware. This technique allows me to use my designs as illustrations, especially botanicals, in which I can add subtle color before the final transparent glaze firing.

I was raised in the desert Southwest; have lived in Iceland, Wyoming, and the Pacific Northwest; and now reside in Fresno, CA, with my husband, daughter, three dogs, and four cats in a small, 1950s cottage home. I create my ceramics close to home in the heart of the Fresno Tower Arts District at echo gallery + studio. My most recent inspirations have been the smart beasties (ravens and octopuses), summertime cocktails (gin botanicals), and mid-century modern prints.