Originally a landscape painter, ceramic artist Elizabeth DeLyria translates the concept of landscape into the functionality of clay. She says, “Clay is Earth. Even the processes used to manipulate clay occur in nature: stains, smoke, the graceful flow of slip on the surface, like silt in a river. Stones, birches, dunes, lakes—these are also Earth, and yet fundamentally different.”
DeLyria uses the versatility of clay to suggest these different forms of nature, her pieces serving as reminders of the unity of the world around us. The mineral of clay becomes a tree; the three-hundred-million-year-old fossil surface of a rock becomes the fluid, sloping surface of clay. At the same time, the functionality of her vessels serves to emphasize nature in our daily lives. “When something is made out of wood that’s not wood, we start to notice wood again. Working with clay means you can eat cereal out of a landscape.”
DeLyria holds a MEd in Art Education from the University of Houston, with an emphasis in Ceramics, and a BA in Painting from the University of New Orleans. She served as a U.S. State Department Cultural Envoy to Russia, exposing educational practitioners to American teaching methodology throughout Russia. She received the Robert Rauschenberg “The Power of Art” Award, was invited to participate in the Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and was chosen by the Texas Commission of the Arts as the “State Featured Teacher” of 2006. From 1996 to 2009, DeLyria taught ceramics and metalsmithing at Alief Hastings High School and is currently a teaching consultant throughout Texas. DeLyria’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is represented by galleries in Michigan and Texas.