The use of functional ceramics incorporates daily visual and habitual elements within our lives. They can be objects of festivity and beauty, or vessels for nourishment. Utilitarian pottery is an intrinsic part of social relationships and rituals that are created over a shared meal. These objects compose a conversation that both enriches and celebrates life and what sustains us. My work intends to elevate daily practices into lighthearted and joyful experiences that convey a sense of place.Having grown up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I learned to associate the peaks and valleys with my father, who taught me the names of the bright blue ranges and how to find healing in the landscape. My mother, a painter, encouraged me to pursue drawing as guidance through the anxiety I experienced as a child. These grounding practices that I was given by my family have left me captivated by the concepts of home and belonging.
Within my work I explore these concepts through narrative and whimsy. I draw storylines on functional work to elicit the feeling of home or place. Pitching a tent in the woods is a simple act, but it is one that denotes presence and the creation of your own home. This imagery manifests the playful, the magical and the whimsical that exists within reality and in our imaginations.
Laurie Caffery Harris grew up in Boone, North Carolina, a small town surrounded by the peaks and valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains. From a young age she was compelled to work with her hands, watching her mother, a professional painter. On weekends she spent time in the woods with her father, where she learned to identify mountain ranges and types of trees. Encouraged by her creative parents, Laurie grew up passionately exploring different medias, primarily painting and drawing.
It wasn’t until beginning college that Laurie settled on a medium: clay. Four years later, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in ceramics at Appalachian State University in May 2014. Laurie is currently an Artist in Residence at Odyssey Clayworks in Asheville, North Carolina where she continues to create and evolve her work.