Liana Agnew | Episode 321
Liana Agnew was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. She received her BFA in Ceramics and a BSE in Art Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2015. She has exhibited nationally in galleries such as Red Star Studios, The Clay Studio of Philadelphia, Workhouse Gallery, Charlie Cummings Gallery, the Erie Art Museum, the Milwaukee Institute of Art, the Morean Center for Clay, Hudgens Art Center, and more. In summer of 2015, Agnew received a scholarship to attend a residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. During the 2015-2016 year she completed a residency at Brockway Center for Arts and Technology. Liana is currently a full time resident artist at Morean Center for Clay in Saint Petersburg, FL for the 2016-2017 year.
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When we are finding our voice in ceramics we know what our voice isn’t . What are some things about ceramics that you would say, this is something I don’t like?
That is a hard question to answer because there is definitely work that I am more drawn to but I feel like I haven’t really seen a lot of work that I have been totally appalled by. When I was first getting into it I was using porcelain so I only wanted to buy porcelain pots, which is so funny now. I see it now in a way where I try to find a beauty and appreciation in all the work I see. In everything I am drawn to at least one aspect of it in one way or another.
What kind of work makes you stop and recompose yourself? just captures you?
There’s so much. For me as someone who spends a lot of time on surface, I think surface heavy work is something that I am really drawn to. Something that is going to make me want to pick it up and really sort of analyse what is happening on the work.
When you are making do you ever have, in the back of your mind, the people that will one day be using what you make?
Yeah, I definitely thought about that. I sort of like it to be available to as many people as possible. I think that is sort of the beauty of ceramics, it’s not like someone buying a ten thousand dollar painting. Mugs and plates and bowls and all sorts of things are accessible to all people. I just sort of picture them in a home and it could be any home.
Does that person that you think about play any role in how you make what you are making? Do they influence what you are going to make?
I think so. I always want my work to be comfortable and I want it to be utilitarian so I am definitely thinking about my craftsmanship. Is this something I would want to use? The best way for me to test that is use what I have made. That is something I was not doing for a long time. That is the best way for me to test what I need to change.
How important is the feedback of other people in the development of your craft?
For me I think it’s important. I think it is important to keep an open mind and an open ear. I mean just give something a try and if you don’t like it you don’t have to do it. I try to keep an open mind and listen to what others say. If I don’t consider it now maybe the next batch I will consider it.
How important is your mood for making?
I think that is definitely important for me. If I am really stressed out and worried about something that is not a good time for me to work. I like to sort of be in a calm state of mind. Even if I am a little frazzled it is nice because I am able to work though that. It’s weird because it is something that is a stress reliever but I need to be in a calm state of mind when I am working.
What is your favorite four-legged creature and why?
My dog Lily. She is a chihuahua and she will be nine years old. She is just the best little dog.