Lydia Johnson

Get to Know Our Featured Ceramic Artist Lydia Johnson

Why did you choose the clay body that you use?

I use colored clay because I see the foundation of my work as not necessarily clay but color.

What inspires your forms?

All of my forms start flat. I start with a printed, patterned clay slab and use 2-dimensional templates to transform the slab into a round thing. Its like sewing clothing from fabric. Flat materials can become any type of form with darts and molds. For now, my forms are simple. I think about them like a rectangular sheet of paper or fabric that is lifted off the table and wrapped around in space. 

What inspires your surface decoration?

I consume a lot of visual material online and through books. I look and digest and reference. The things I decide to bring into my studio are the things that keep popping into my mind after the fact. Recently, I’ve been looking at Japanese Kimonos, Indian Chintz fabric, high fashion runway outfits, American folk quilts, Islamic tile work and stained glass.

What is your firing process?

Cone 5 electric kiln

What is your favorite form to make?

It's been the year of the cup. I like working small. I also like how the handle offers a space for a different color or pattern. 

What is your favorite form to use?

I love using the vases. They are simple and speak directly to flowers they hold. 

Which artists or teachers have been your biggest influences?

Linda Sikora & Andrea Gill

What is your favorite piece of advice for aspiring potters?

I think if you keep believing in what you are doing and working your butt off and fighting through doubt and loneliness, slowly but surely, more opportunities will start to emerge. Resilience, persistence, and dedication are the only option. I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. 

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