Lynn Smiser Bowers

Lynn Smiser Bowers

I would describe myself as a functional potter who loves to embellish form and surface. For twenty years, I have been a professional potter exploring my art and craft. Both of these aspects come together to form the life of my work. In combining traditional and contemporary methods and influences, I have discovered paths that lead me into new and exciting areas. One traditional method I employ is the use of the potter’s wheel – a tool used by potters down through the centuries. Much of my work begins on the wheel for their initial form. When the vessels leave the potter’s wheel, they are just beginning to take shape and develop structure. I begin to add more energy and movement by pulling, pushing, carving, poking, trimming, and altering the pots in many ways to enhance and provide vitality to the form.


Over the years, I have worked with many different clays from red earthenware to high fire stoneware. Today, I use pure high fire porcelain clay as it allows for a white background to act as a canvas for my glaze designs. Seduced by this silky malleable substance as it spins beneath my hands, it has special quality not found in any other clay.


Inspiration for my surfaces is eclectic and varied. My recent work reflects influences from the textile world. African Asafo Flags, 18th century Japanese ikat kimonos and old pictorial Navajo weavings contain patterns and images that intrigue me.


Since pottery is an ancient art form, I also look to the post of yesterday for information. Lately, I’ve been studying the figurative scenes taken from daily life as depicted on early (B.C.) Greek vessels. They are compelling for they give us snapshots and stories from a moment in time. These artistic footprints provide a path for me to follow, allowing past traditions to be carried forward, and new ideas are created from a mingling and blending of old expressions.

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Lynn Smiser Bowers