Elizabeth Davies

Field and Forest


Inspired by what I see in nature around me, I create ceramics in traditional and distorted forms which I use as a canvas for abstract surface design. In 2019, while visiting Australia, I was struck by the intriguing patterns of the trunks of ghost gum trees -- images which haunted me long after my forest walks were over. At an open ceramics studio in Sydney, I created tall vases with dark, highly-textured surfaces that progressively revealed their porcelain-like upper curved surfaces. Back in Ottawa the following year, measures to deal with the first waves of the pandemic meant I couldn't work at our co-op studio. Instead I started impressing clay slabs against trees in a nearby park, later bisquing the slabs and using them as moulds. Though I found the resulting textured surfaces intriguing, I yearned to impose once again my design on the clay rather than having the design determined by the bark of the tree. After conditions permitted, I went back to creating tall cylindrical vases that in their shape and slight distortions recall the growing trunks of trees. Some asked to be grouped, others stood alone. Later I added other forms, including round or shouldered vessels, to the collection. I decorate them with my own abstract designs that speak of the shaded darkness of the forest or of colourful new spring growth. With all of them, I paint not with brushes but slip trailers, directing quick, sweeping trails of slip and glaze onto the rounded surfaces where they can flow and spread as if they were alive. 

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(best viewed in landscape mode)



Elizabeth Davies


Elizabeth Davies has worked with ceramics since 2000 and in a dedicated and focused manner since 2016 when she returned to Canada from Europe where she had worked as a conference interpreter. Her pieces reflect the imprint of different people and places she has known in her life. While living and working in Brussels, she was influenced by the flowing glazes of the French oblate Daniel de Montmollin, the simplicity and elegance of the British potter Chris Keenan and the quick, deft decorative movements of the Nigerian Danlami Aliyu. However nature has always been the main source of her inspiration. Many of her pieces reflect the ocean, shorelines and beaches she knew growing up in Angola on the west coast of Africa. More recently, her abstract designs have been inspired by the serene beauty of plants, from the fine grasses and wild flowers of the open meadow to the majestic age-old trees of the forest. Her intention is always to intrigue, and to have the viewer feel the urge to reach out, touch and hold. For the past six years, she has been a member of Gladstone Clayworks co-operative as well as the Ottawa Guild of Potters.  

Elizabeth Davies Ceramics

eliz_davies@hotmail.com http://www.elizabeth-davies.com/
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