Insight: Liz Quan

Insight: Liz Quan

“The thing about working with your hands is that you go into a space that’s uninhibited, intuitive and timeless,” explains ceramic artist Liz Quan. It’s a far cry, she says, from her former deadline-driven life as an art director in New York City. Seeking to work with something more tactile than computer design tools, Quan began taking classes in jewelry making, wood turning and ceramics, which ultimately led her to a new career and a new city. “I love all of those mediums, but clay seemed to stick,” says Quan, who relocated to Boulder to study ceramics at the University of Colorado Boulder. “I enjoy how versatile and forgiving it is. You can create anything with it.” Indeed, Quan’s work ranges from organic vessels and objects to her signature sculptures and White Coral pendants, which she fashions by carving and casting individual pieces of porcelain and then gathering them into suspended one-of-a-kind forms. “You just have to be present and let things flow,” Quan says of her process. “It’s about being completely open to exploration, and that’s a wonderful place to be.”


LX: Why clay?
LQ: There are five stages to the work, and that’s an interesting notion. Each requires patience and thought. Working with clay is a long process, and you have to appreciate each step.

LX: Design icons...
LQ: Constantin Brancusi, Isamu Noguchi, Maya Lin, Frank Gehry, Alexander Calder and Andy Goldsworthy.

LX: Favorite decorating sources...
LQ: I like walking the streets of New York. BDDW has beautifully crafted woodwork, and de Vera has intriguing objects and artifacts from all over the world.

LX: Tools of the trade...
LQ: Passion, patience and persistence!

LX: Every artist shoud...
LQ: Try working in another medium.

LX: Personal style...
LQ: I’d say I’m a modernist. I like simplicity and clarity of form.

LX: Greatest indulgence...
LQ: I really appreciate good food and dining out. Cooking is therapeutic, and home-baked cookies provide instant gratification!;



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