Lisa Shepperd has been making pots since high school classes in Miami. She continued to study and create while pursuing degrees in French and Environmental Studies, before returning to Florida to raise a family. For several decades, she worked locally with a gas-soda kiln at Horse Creek Pottery, but is now altering her decoration techniques for electric firings. Lisa says, “My work begins on the wheel, but I often alter the form with handbuilt additions. I create distinctive decorations by painting with clay slips and underglazes, as well as carving into the surface. I want to make functional art that people can use every day; all my pottery is food safe, and may be put in the dishwasher and microwave.” Her favorite pots tell a story with graphic or narrative designs reflecting her interest in Florida’s natural environment. Her goal is to make everyday objects that are useful, attractive and fun!
I like making functional pots that make people smile. Making beautiful versions of everyday or even lowly objects, like a compost bucket or neti pot, gives me a kick. I'm a native of Florida, and enjoy being outside, which may explain why turtles, lizards, dragonflies, and fish often appear on my work.
I started throwing on the wheel in high school and have continued off and on ever since. Along the way I have taken every opportunity to study with my favorite “rock star” potters near and far, including Mackenzie Smith, Josh DeWeese, Lorna Meaden, Kenyon Hansen and Linda Arbuckle. When my local clay home closed, Horse Creek pottery, I began to alter my decoration techniques from those used in atmospheric soda firings for the more static results of electric firings. As often happens, the exploration I dreaded has turned out to be an extremely fun and rewarding puzzle.
To create my designs, I paint raw clay with underglazes, often using liquid wax resist in a method similar to batik. I may add wavering lines of clay slip, shadowed with black underglaze. Sometimes I incise the clay with fine lines filled with black underglaze. Recently I’ve discovered the joy of blurring these images with a clear glaze that softens and runs… an effect I love from my soda-firing days. This is a time-consuming process, but great therapy!