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  • Writer's pictureChristine "Liz" LaRue

Ponderings: Artist Christine Liz Larue

Ceramic plate by Liz Larue

Note to self: In order to make these plates in porcelain instead of earthenware, I must account for the shrinkage rate of the porcelain, which is at least 15%. That means the plates need to be at least 11.5 or 12 inches to start. Also, the design needs to be more open and expansive to allow the image not to visually become compressed during the glaze firing at cone 10 at around 2381 Fahrenheit in our gas reduction kiln. Thus, her hair's whorls need more space in between, and her face is slightly larger by at least 5%. I also must calculate whether I can find an orange underglaze that can still maintain its brightness at cone 10 under our clear glaze, which leans a little into blue. Or, I could use a blue or green underglaze to have more synergy with our studio's clear glaze. But...will the food look nicer in medium blue or pistachio green, which is already in my underglaze collection?

See? Already planning a set of square porcelain sandwich plates entails math, the science of heat, design measurement, imagination, commercial art appeal, reading of glaze materials, and research.


Explain to me why the hell Chicago Public Schools don't support the study and practice of Ceramics in all of its local high schools? Ceramics intersects all of the sciences: history, reading, spatial design, and space planning. It could lead to careers in electrical & plumbing design and construction, clothing design, car design and construction, refractory construction ( think about the panels on current space rockets, which are ceramic), and glass construction and its uses. If you understand Ceramics, glass is just a shade away.

All of those careers mesh out of a Ceramics field of study.

Did I mention the design of tableware? (Smile)

Think about this the next time your child or grandchild mentions they want to try their hand at a Ceramics class. No - Ceramics is not a useless art form.


Christine LaRue

Artist Bio

Christine “Liz” LaRue is a clay artist and illustrationist. She is known for her intricately textured figurative sculptures and emotionally illustrative drawings. Chicago born though also raised in Utah and Idaho, Ms. LaRue is of Creole/Cuban descent. Her art has been influenced by her Afro-Latino heritage. Ms. LaRue’s interests have been in pre-Columbian art of the Olmec, Maya of Mexico, Nazca, and Moche face pots of Peru. This also includes the bronze sculptures of the Ife of Nigeria and Tā Moko tattoo art of the Maōri.

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