Ceramics were not always included in Liz Sofield’s artistic practice. She originally made sculptures only from paper and string, threading fine cotton through folded paper shapes to create her artistic forms. But recently, she has added porcelain as the third medium of her full-time practice.
‘My paper artworks and ceramics are linked to my fascination with textiles,’ says Liz. ‘The tactile and meditative process of each is part of an ongoing quest for harmony, and binds these mediums together.’
Liz makes three types of art: textile paper art, crochet porcelain and origami porcelain – each one a fusion of two mediums.
‘I like to blend these processes together,’ says Liz. ‘So I taught myself to fold fine porcelain so that it referenced the folded paper I had been experimenting with. I stitched my folded paper artwork so that it referenced my childhood stitching. I dipped crochet forms in clay to complete the circle.’
Her netted ceramic sculptures are created by first crocheting shapes from cotton. When the final design is complete, she dips it into a liquid porcelain slip to create a solid outer shell of clay around the soft textile before firing it in a kiln. This mirrors the process of her paper sculptures for which she creates a loose layout – cutting and folding the paper shapes and making stitch marks – and finally hand-embroidering a delicate overlay. Her porcelain origami is a more straightforward approach, with the clay forms simply folded in the same intricate manner as delicate paper boats.
Liz’s multidisciplinary practice has been the result of many years of experimentation. Her training in textile design and professional background as an interior designer have given her an appreciation of light, space and repetition, while time spent in a remote mining town in Western Australia or on the coast of Queensland awarded her a wealth of natural inspiration.
But ultimately, Liz’s goal is to instil a sense of tranquility into both the making and the viewing of her delicate, tactile pieces. ‘In the chaos of everyday life, we all need and crave a sense of calm,’ she says. Agreed!
Learn more about Liz’s practice here.