Potter | Educator | Show Director | Juror
Lisa Kurtz has been a functional potter for almost 40 years. After being a professional potter for 30 years, she returned to her love of teaching in 2014. She re-started the clay program and taught ceramics through 2016 at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee, including hand building, wheel throwing and clay sculpture. From 2016 - 2018 she taught clay and drawing at Pellissippi State in Knoxville, Tennessee and clay workshops at the Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris, Tennessee. Currently living in Louisville, Kentucky, Lisa teaches online Art History courses for Pellissippi State. She also teaches clay at Payne Street Pottery.
With a Masters degree in Ceramics from the University of Louisville, Lisa started her pottery, Highland Pottery, in the eclectic Highlands neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky, where she currently resides. She has been a member of several professional juried guilds, artist associations and boards, including the Foothills Craft Guild, the Ky. Crafts Guild, NCECA, the Ky. Dept. of the Arts Marketing Program, The Knoxville Art Alliance, The New Prospect Craft Center, Tennessee Craft and Terra Madre. An award winning ceramic artist, Lisa’s clay work has been exhibited and sold in galleries and shops across the U.S. and in national and regional juried fine art shows and craft fairs.
Lisa throws and hand builds her pieces and often combines the two methods to create her functional pottery and clay wall art. Her work highlights the malleable qualities of clay by emphasizing texture and form. She welcomes and encourages the happy accidents that occur while working in the medium and in the firing process. Most of her work is altered while still wet to let the intrinsic beauty of the clay itself be a part of her work. As an artist and a maker of “handmade” objects, one of her goals is to make forms that invite human interaction.
“My favorite part of working in this medium is that people can use my work in their everyday lives. This is especially important to me as a potter. Whether people use my pots in everyday rituals or celebratory meals, that connection to their life through my art is what keeps me going. Even my large sculptural vases, bowls and wall pouches are made to be used and enjoyed.”
In 1885 Oscar Wilde said in a lecture given in Dublin (The Value of Art in Everyday Life), “I have found that all ugly things are made by those who strive to make something beautiful, and that all beautiful things are made by those who strive to make something useful.” As I always tell my clients, I hope you enjoy my pots as much as I enjoyed making them. If I can impart just a little bit of that joy to you, it has all been worth it!