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Emerging Artist 2012: Lilly Zuckerman – Missoula, Montana

untitled, 12 in ( 30 cm) in length, earthenware, low fired in an electric kiln, 2011.


CM: When making your work, how do you determine what the proper balance or tension is between clean form and hand-pinched surface? Are there visual cues or is it more determined by feel?


LZ: Starting with a solid block of clay, I slowly and methodically pinch the form. No clay is added and very little clay is trimmed away. Encompassing many changes of state, from the uncomplicated lump, heavy with potential, through precarious and fluid chaos, and ending with the form, this process has a candid integrity. This takes me to unexpected moments, proving to me that work makes work and that by consciously and unconsciously participating, this process teaches me. 



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untitled, 12 in ( 30 cm) in length, earthenware, low fired in an electric kiln, 2011.

The action of pinching leaves a remarkably clear and straightforward trace of touch. A surface marked with fingerprints records the process of making, and embraces the tension on the form. This constant tension is simultaneously evident as it is on the form, of the form, and from the form. From maker to user my moment of touch can be experienced by others tomorrow or in thousands of years.


A hand-drawn line is infinitely more interesting to me than one drawn with a ruler. When space is divided exactly in half or when a lip is unchanged around an entire pot it is easily grasped. Imperfect moments urge the eye to be more attentive, so much so that the hand is reflexively inspired to verify.