Clare Lewis

Life is too short to be serious all the time,” says Clare Lewis, clay artist and New Milford, CT resident. “I believe humor should be an important part of my art – not that I don’t choose serious topics for my work sometimes, but I find it much more intriguing to bring a bit of whimsy to things. It just adds another layer of complexity and provides for some excitement.”

Clare Lewis has a degree from Smith College (Northampton, MA) and also studied at the Cornell University Summer Studios in Art (Ithaca, NY), Brookfield Craft Center (Brookfield, CT) and John C. Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC). She currently teaches ceramics to adults at Silvermine Arts Center (New Canaan, CT) and Brookfield Craft Center. Past teaching credits include Washington Art Association, The Katonah Art Center (Ceramics Director), Northern Westchester Center for the Arts (Head of Ceramics), Farmington Valley Arts Center and Soundview Preparatory School. A member of NCECA and the Silvermine Guild of Artists, she exhibits her work regionally.

As an Artist…
Clare started out as a functional potter but found her interests led her to more sculptural forms. Currently she feels her work is situated between the functional potters and the sculptural artists. For her functional work, the accent is on beautiful forms and gorgeous glazes. For the more sculptural work, she starts by throwing simple yet elegant forms and then alters her pieces by pushing or stretching the clay with her hands or adding more clay and texture. During the glazing process, she tries to bring a sense of freedom to her technique that translates into the visual appearance of the piece after firing. The right balance of form, design, color, and texture is the goal.

As a Teacher…
When teaching, Clare stresses this balance, as well as the need for contrast in a piece to create drama and interest. Her approach is technique based and she believes it is important to enjoy the learning process to progress even faster. “There is not just one way to work or one way to learn. Your personal technique is dynamic — ever changing — depending on the piece you are making: the size, complexity, and final result desired.” She has taught all ages and abilities and thus adapts her teaching style to the individual.