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Kurinuki Influenced Ceramics
by Elizabeth Tool


Self-taught after taking up ceramics later in life, Elizabeth eschews convention and challenges limitations. Her core process, subtractive carving from solid blocks of clay, is evidence of her independent and determined spirit. Like the Japanese Kurinuki (“carving out”) process, but taken to an unlikely extreme, her procedure is impractical and risky as it invites substantial cracking in when drying and firing. Yet, no other method will allow the same freedom to reveal forms and patterns with immediacy and precision. The process is almost erosive, like nature itself carves the land. Repetition of motifs and forms, propelled by an innate horror-vacui, result in flowing, organic, patterned surfaces.

Born in California and raised on a goat farm in Oregon, Elizabeth has lived in Alaska, Virginia, Montana and much of the South West. Her peripatetic life, soaking in the scenery of the American landscape, has been a substantial creative influence. After her parent’s death, with the dawning realization that life is indeed short, Elizabeth signed up at her local university to undertake a degree in art, intent on painting. The incidental inclusion of a ceramics course, added for an 'easy credit’, has consumed her ever since. It has proven to be the ideal vehicle for her desire to spontaneously capture the ‘spirit of a place’ that fascinates her.