Liz Summerfield

I attended the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis to complete my Masters of Fine Arts in 2004. Since graduation, I have lived and worked in Bakersville, North Carolina with my husband and glass artist, Scott Summerfield.  We share a large outbuilding that houses each of our studios and a showroom for our work.

I have been an instructor and visiting artist at numerous clay facilities, colleges, and universities. I exhibit and sell my work nationally through exhibitions, fine craft shows, our home gallery, and my online shop.

I have been featured and on the cover of Ceramics Monthly and Clay Times magazine. I have also authored and been included in a variety of ceramic publications. In 2014, Ceramics Arts Daily released an instructional DVD featuring my construction and surface techniques.

I am the co-creator of Red Handed Symposium, a conference solely devoted to low-fire red clay enthusiasts.




Recontextualizing utilitarian objects is a common thread woven throughout my work. My interest lies in what an object once was and what it can become; this curiosity inspires me to create my work. I reference functional, everyday objects and intend to formalize them by focusing on their form, surface, and stance. 

I am passionate about collecting and the theories involved. Why do we collect and display certain objects? What new meanings arise once they are grouped among similar objects? Within a collection, everyday objects have the ability to gain importance as members of a whole. They start to become more than the sum of their parts, subtle nuances are noticed, and there is the potential to give value to valueless objects.


I find function a vehicle for expression, while also allowing approachability to my work.  Sets, such as creamers and sugars, salt and peppers, lidded containers, and pails are my primary forms. My work is small and intimate in size.  These handheld objects are constructed with slabs that softly drape over one another creating three-dimensional drawings throughout the surface of the piece. These lines are kept visible to accentuate the process of the making.

What fuels my interest in the making of clay objects is a constant curiosity to fulfill a set of personal intentions. I believe this continuous search allows my work to remain sustainable and timeless.