LeAnn has been actively working in clay since 1993 when she became a member of the South Australia Studio Potters. I asked LeAnn what clays are her favorites and she listed a very white porcelain and a buff stoneware. She fires in an electric kiln and mentioned that she misses firing reduction in gas kiln. LeAnn gets consistent results firing Cone 6 in her electric kiln and finds her programmable controller makes firing a lot easier. Leann makes her own glazes and has developed a few favorites. One of these is a blue green reactive glaze that develops little crystals.
LeAnn's main assistants are Bob and Alice- two furry pups and her partner Peter gets called into service with shipping and postal runs. He is also willing to do some heavy lifting. Lucky girl!!
Summers Studio is a short walk from LeAnn's dining room and in housed a 1920's garage; very classy but not very heat controlled. When the weather drives her out; the dining room becomes her studio.
LeAnn's muse is channeled through drawings and doodles. She will carve a clay model and make a plaster cast; or send out to have original stamps made then press models and cast plaster molds. Her process is based on the usual pottery steps: drying, cleaning, bisque firing, glazing and final firing followed with more clean up.
Customers remark on the Asian vibe they get from LeAnn's work and she attributes this influence to the years lived in the Asian Pacific area. For inspiration LeAnn looks to textiles, batiks, kimonos, architectural detail, and the Arts and Crafts movement. She loves texture and adds raised elements in her work.
LeAnn's ceramic hero is Lucie Rie, an early woman pioneer who fled Nazi Austria and worked in London. Lucie developed a very distinct modernist form. Lucie made pottery for most of her life and died at 95. She also made buttons and beads during the war to support herself.
LeAnn has an Etsy shop and she sells at a monthly art market. She also sells at two regional art festivals. Check out http://www.SummersStudioEtc.etsy.com
LeAnn's advice to newbies? Learn about your clay; discover the working properties; get a feel for the clay; also think about function; size of holes; how will the pendant hang; have fun; learn from experiments; learn to edit; develop your own designs. Mostly have fun!
Posted by Joan Tucker, BOC Spotlight