Elizabeth Robinson Wiley | LUX Center for the Arts | Art Gallery, Classes, Summer Camps & Outreach

Elizabeth Robinson Wiley

Elizabeth Robinson Wiley

Profile Location
Rangely , CO

Elizabeth Robinson is a Ceramic Artist, Designer, Arts Advocate, Community Organizer, Business-woman, Wife and Mother.  Her studio is located in Rangely, CO, an isolated town in the high desert mesa country of Northwestern Colorado. Elizabeth is an internationally recognized ceramic artist, whose artwork is represented in galleries nationwide and included in numerous invitational exhibitions; she works with clients and customers locally and across the country. Though she wears many hats, her work is always centered around the intimacy of home life and domestic rituals, it's intersection with community and the public sphere, and the construction of identity. These interests, on the surface disparate, manifest in the diverse body of her work.

Artist Statement

For 25 years I have understood the simple act of making dishes as a shrewd metaphor for self-reliance, personal expression, family ritual and community. Like your grandmother’s china, the plates and bowls my hands produce signify my place in creation, their physicality assembles a sense of the lineage I feel lacking. Experience and research--from traditional craft to industrial ceramics, from my children’s drawings to contemporary paintings, inspire me. These influences narrate a cultural identity I construct through observation, intent, and practice.

I handle my materials, whether clay or encounter, with directness, and attentiveness to detail. In my pots, soft clay and simple forms meet painterly glaze and sketched decals, juxtaposing soft and hard edges, loose and formal lines. This contrast creates a tension between mass and delicacy, refinement and physicality, that I associate with elements of my nature. The back of a platter, the bottom of the foot, contain as much, or more, deliberation as the exposed surfaces. Hidden areas build layers of information, not readily available, that must be discovered over time through acts more intimate than merely gazing. With each project, every phase of the process builds on the previous; one project leads to the next, to some extent akin to antiquity progressing to the modern age.

I see my work coming full circle. Accepting I might never make that perfectly expensive gallery object that would simplify life as a studio artist, I return to the potters’ wheel content to make cups, bowls and plates. Something as straightforward as a cup can be profound. Something simple and useful functions also as a record it its maker, an object of contemplation, of consumption, and an accessory to the rituals of both serving and dining. I find I am satisfied to make “only” dishes, for now. I trust they will sustain me through their making and as they find their own homes to settle into, moving toward that inevitable day they become shards strewn across a desert landscape, waiting to be discovered.



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