Liz Zlot Summerfield

Artist Website

I find function a vehicle for expression while also allowing approachability to my work. Creamers and sugars, salt and pepper sets, and lidded containers are the primary objects that I create. My work is small and intimate in size. These handheld objects are constructed with soft slabs and the process of the making is left visible for the user to discover. Most recently, I have been creating clay "bricks" for my pots to sit on. For me they act as a frame for the pieces, which further moves them from strictly useful objects into formal ones as well.

The beauty of utilitarian objects is that they are capable of functioning away from their primary context but also retain their inherent sense of function. A pot, box, or tool may function primarily as a useful object and later retire its usefulness and function as an aesthetic object such as in a collection. In either context, the object has a specific purpose, whether it is to contain or sit among others of its kind. Within a collection, everyday objects gain importance as members of a whole; they start to become more than the sum of their parts and have potential to give value to valueless objects. I view my work as an ever-growing collection, where I am the maker of objects that are similar but also defined by their subtle differences. I draw inspiration from my own personal collectibles such as vintage aprons and hand made boxes. As with many collections I strive to imbed my work with a sense of nostalgia, memory, and past time.