MEET THE MAKER

Liz Sofield, ce­ramic, tex­tile and pa­per artist

Australian House & Garden - - INSIDER -

Tex­tiles and mak­ing have al­ways been im im­por­tant threads in the life of Liz Sofield S (top). Grow­ing up in New Zeala Zealand, she wore clothes sewn by her mother a and al­ways had a craft project of fh her own on the go. Sewing, cro­chet and knit­ting were all part of her skill set.

Af­ter study­ing at Welling­ton Polytech­nic, she worked in Auck­land as a tex­tile de­signer be­fore mov­ing to Bris­bane with her hus­band Martin in 2004. For his job as a civil en­gi­neer, the cou­ple later moved to Kal­go­or­lie, WA, with their young twins in tow.

Art ma­te­ri­als were in short sup­ply there, so Liz turned to items at hand – pa­per and thread – and started pro­duc­ing del­i­cate art­works of tex­tured pa­per pat­terned with stitch­ing. At the same time, her son Liam be­came ob­sessed with pa­per planes. Liz would sit with him for hours, fold­ing pa­per. To make sure her daugh­ter Ros­abella didn’t feel left out, she be­gan fold­ing pa­per flow­ers as well.

“This sparked a fas­ci­na­tion with origami, and I be­gan com­bin­ing it with my hand stitch­ing,” says Liz. What started as a fam­ily craft ac­tiv­ity soon be­came a se­ri­ous artis­tic pur­suit. Her port­fo­lio now in­cludes pa­per works that fea­ture gen­tle geo­met­ric folds cov­ered in fine net­works of thread. The work re­quires pre­ci­sion and pa­tience, and Liz is de­voted to it. “I love the rhythm and sym­me­try. With these works, I’m ex­plor­ing the boundaries where art and craft meet.”

Back in Bris­bane, Liz de­cided to ex­plore the world of ce­ram­ics. She be­gan ap­ply­ing her origami skills to works of clay, rolling and fold­ing the ma­te­rial and press­ing pat­terns into it to repli­cate the folds of origami. The re­sult is her ex­pand­ing range of fine porce­lain ves­sels. Most re­cently, she has mar­ried clay tech­niques with her child­hood love of cro­chet. Draw­ing on skills taught by her mother, she cro­chets del­i­cate forms from nat­u­ral fi­bres be­fore cov­er­ing them with porce­lain clay and fir­ing in a kiln.

Work­ing from a space in her home, Liz ded­i­cates sev­eral hours a day to her ce­ram­ics and tex­tiles, rel­ish­ing the com­fort­ing rhythms and sat­is­fy­ing out­comes of her work: “Mak­ing is such a tac­tile and med­i­ta­tive process. I hope that joy trans­lates into my work.”

Liz’s work will be on sale through her web­site from early 2019; liz­sofield.com.

FROM TOP Tran­si­tions Se­ries 1 tex­tile pa­per art, Gourd Bas­kets cro­chet porce­lain, Im­printed Earth and Folded Waves origami porce­lain.

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