Lily Schor

#1096 - Lily Schor Two faces Meditations in Clay, 2006Long Face Faces 1 #2777 - Lily Schor #2775 - Lily Schor #1433 - Lily Schor #1365 - Lily Schor Lily SchorLily SchorLily SchorLily Schor

I am an artist that works in clay. I teach, exhibit and sell. For many years my focus was the creation of beautiful functional work such as bowls, vases, serving dishes, etc.  I meant them to be enjoyed for their beauty, ease of use and for their enhancement of everyday routines.

Recently, however, my work has moved in a more sculptural direction.  Out of an 18 year work history of Social Work in the prison system I returned to my fascination with the human face.  I began creating handbuilt boxes in which faces emerge from the clay unmarked with fingerprints, tool marks or the presence of the artist. I mean these faces to convey a sense of inner life, inner thought.  This direction has eventuated in the creation of large scale outdoor sculptures of faces standing tall on ceramic bases and grouped to relate to each other.  I wish these sculptures to be a place where the viewer can pause and meditate on aspects of personal experience and human relationships.  If my faces encourage the  viewer to look inside to their own meaningful experiences and promote a measure of insight and balance then I consider my work to be effective.

I began my career in clay in 1968 with classes at the Brooklyn Museum.  This interest was inspired by a gift of a potters wheel built for me by my father who thought it would engage me while my infant daughter slept.  I continued my education with classes at Cooper Square Art School with Bruno La Verdiere and at Greenwich House Pottery with Michael Zakin.  Within 3 years I opened Stepping Stone Pottery on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn with two friends.  There, for 4 wonderful years, I taught, perfected my work and sold.

Moving to Westchester in the late 1970s I continued teaching, both at my house and as Director and teacher of the ceramics program at the Y.W.C.A., White Plains, NY.  My education continued with classes with Ruth Berelson, Karen Karnes, Cynthia Bringle and Harvey Sedow.  During these years my work was on sale in galleries in Soho, NY, Westchester, NY and Wellfleet, Maine.  As well, I helped to found the Hudson River Potters, an organization that continues to this day to educate and network for ceramic artists in the Westchester area.

In the 1980s I became particularly interested in oriental brush painting.  I admired the Asian potters for their ability to place an example of nature so effecively on the clay form.  I began painting with Dr. Sam Tsg Chen at Elizabeth Seton College, Westchester and then continued to study with him privately for many years.  I applied these lessons to my functional work, to decorative wall plaques and to some of my sculptural pieces.

At the same time I extended my interest in hand built forms, in particular, the face in clay. Working with Ruth Berelson, I developed techniques to allow the face to emerge from the clay seemingly untouched and unformed by the human hand. This led to a continuing experimentation with faces framed in large boxes with soft edges, wall plaques, spirit boxes and large scale sculptures. I hope that the faces will slowly reveal their inner thoughts to the viewer and perhaps evoke in the viewer their own meaningful memories.

Currently I am a member of The Blue Door Gallery, Yonkers, NY, and The Clay Art Center, Port Chester, NY, and teach at Pottery on Hudson, Dobbs Ferry and Lakeside Pottery, Stamford, CT.