Lydia Johnson


Lydia Johnson is currently an artist-in-residence and adjunct faculty at Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN. She received an MFA from Alfred University, Alfred, NY (2016) and a BA from Messiah College, Grantham, PA (2011).

Artist Statement

As an artist, I digest the things in my life and in my subconscious that make me feel energized and alive. I think it is in those moments where I find purpose and meaning. When I reflect on growing up as an adolescent, I remember vivid connections with certain things. One was a book my mom had: Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett. Fassett creates highly decorative and colorful objects through needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics. I remember sitting and pouring through his book over and over again. At 12 years old, I wasn’t trying to figure out why I was so infatuated with his work, I just was.

As I’ve grown, I have come to see color and pattern as a form of nourishment. We live in color and pattern. We consume it. The history of objects celebrate our primal instinct to synthesize and react to what we see visually in our environment and culture.

I make functional pots out of double-sided, patterned clay slabs. I came to work this way by asking myself, how can clay be color/pattern? This question came out of response to my dislike of the term, “surface decoration” and its relationship to ceramics. In my work, visual, flat pattern and color function as fundamental structure. A double-sided, printed slab is my material. It is the “sine qua non”. It is the essence of the thing; an indispensable quality to the object’s existence and power.

Pottery is a very accessible art form. The physical language of pottery is a captivating avenue to explore the visual nature of three-dimension. All over pattern/color creates an engaging physical and visual relationship between user and object which I hope orchestrates synergy of the eyes, hands, mind and heart.

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