“Without a wasted note”: the ceramic art of Lori Ehrlich Katz

Torpedo Factory artists hold strong opinions about balancing utility and beauty—but ceramicist Lori Ehrlich Katz is happy to let the viewer decide.

“I find that most people who own my teapots display them and use them rarely, if at all,” she says. “All of my teapots are functional, but none is the pot one would use for daily breakfast tea.”

Katz recently learned that her fantastic “Orange Tea” has been selected to appear in the book 500 Teapots, Volume 2, due out from Lark Publications in August 2013. The first 500 Teapots volume was hailed as a must-have for pottery artists and collectors alike, and Katz is honored to have caught an editor’s eye, even if “Orange Tea” resembles her current work more in form than in color.

“‘Orange Tea’ was made in 2011 and is one of my last pieces to use earthenware and intense color,” she says. “My current work is stoneware—mostly black and white.”

By using ceramics to convey elegance and calm, Katz has delighted Torpedo Factory visitors and earned praise from the press. “In a world roaring with visual cacophony, Lori Katz counters by keeping it simple,” Home & Design magazine noted in 2010. “Like cool jazz, her designs get down to basics . . . composed with balance and without a wasted note.”

Katz’s love of contrast recently found large-scale expression at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, where nine smaller pieces make up a wall installation that brings placid, minimalist pleasure to an undeniably hectic place.

Look closely, though, and you’ll see flashes of red and gold—an invitation to visit Katz’s studio and see how her work is evolving. She offers only this intriguing hint: “I’m slowly letting a little color back in.”

See more of Lori Ehrlich Katz’s work at the Torpedo Factory in studio 8, and see a wide range of her earthenware and stoneware wall pieces, dinnerware, vessels, bowls, and teapots at www.LoriKatz.com.

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