I strive to create tableware which is unique and interesting for the user. I hope my pots will come off the kitchen shelf and on to the table regularly, not just for special occassions. Like artisian food, handmade tableware brings pleasure and mindfulness to the moment. The potential to enhance someone’s daily ritual with what I create, engages me every day.
I began in clay making handbuilt vessels which were more sculptural than functional. I soon ditched function completely, and moved on to a series of surrealist landscapes built into serving dishes. These gave way to large wall and floor pieces based on organic forms, a theme I worked on for about a decade.
Over the years, I purchased and was given many wonderful pieces of pottery, mostly made by potter friends. Using and handling these pieces, I slowly became aware of how much they enriched my daily life. In 2009, I finally tried throwing pots on the wheel myself. What had seemed intolerably boring and frustrating to my younger self, was now soothing and focusing. I enjoyed the new challenges posed by mastering the potter’s wheel and creating ware meant for daily use.
At this time, I also changed my temperature range from low fire (cone 04) to midrange (cone six) and began exploring/creating a completely new color palette. These major changes made ceramics feel fresh and new again, recharging my studio practice.
Just recently, I've begun using vintage ceramic decals on my work. Once a hugely popular hobby, now outdated and out of favor, these decals range from charming to downright hideous. They elicit a nostalgia which is comforting on one hand and jarring on the other. Printed in the 1960's, 70's and 80's, many depict saccherine images of previous times which makes using them a sort of hall of mirrors. To me they reference womens' work and womens' leisure, (relatively) recent history of ceramics and decoration, midcentury popular culture and ideas about domesticity, and many other juicy topics. Creating compositions by clipping and collaging, I happily recycle these kitsch elements to create something new by applying them to my handmade pieces.
After receiving a BA in Liberal Arts(Emphasis in Sculpture and Printmaking) from UCSC, Clara Lanyi discovered ceramics at Cabrillo College. She studied for a semester at CCAC (now CCA) in Oakland, Ca, and went on to earn her BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University SUNY College of Ceramics. This was followed by an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. More recently, Clara has attended workshops by Julia Galloway, Sam Chung, Ayumi Horie, Deborah Schwartzkopf, Heidi Preuss Grew, and others. In the spring of 2014, Clara did a short term residency at The Clay Studio of Missoula where she was very pleased to be part of that community and share the loft space with Courtney Murphy and Lilly Zuckerman. Ms.Lanyi recently relocated to Roseburg, Oregon. Studio visits by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org