If you’ve seen the striking black-and-white ceramics of Lori Ehrlich Katz, you’ve encountered a beguiling interplay of elegance and functionality that draws the eyes of curators and the general public alike. Katz’s work was recently included in “Tribute to Ceramics,” an exhibition of non-functional clay works at the Black Rock Center for the Arts in Maryland, and is featured at Wantoot, a gallery of modern art and craft in Wisconsin.
This month, Katz is prominently represented in “Game, Set, Match,” a juried exhibition at Baltimore Clayworks focusing on service wares, “objects that contain or deliver food, drink, or seasonings”—a subject that perfectly suits her artistic process.
“Sometimes I work with the idea of a group from the moment I pull out my clay in the morning,” Katz says. “Other times, individual pieces become a group as I consider the balance and relationship of one component to another.”
According to Baltimore Clayworks, this new exhibition “will feature the best in ceramic design: hand-made objects that have a playful twist on functionality or that possess a quiet craftsmanship.” Chat with Katz for a while in her studio and you’ll soon discern that it requires incredible thoughtfulness and skill to find a combination of playfulness, functionality, and beauty that brings smiles to the faces of Torpedo Factory visitors.
“I work in sets,” she says. “Whether functional, tableware, or decorative wall pieces, my work is ‘of a family,’ related by design and process—components of the greater whole that is the body of my work.”