Orchard Valley Ceramic Arts Guild



Liz Burkhouse

About Me

I’ve been an artist all my life, starting with the sale of a ceramic sculpture in Junior High School.  Because I never thought of art as a ‘career,’ and I needed to earn a living, my career detoured through the high-tech industry where I worked as an Instructional Designer and Courseware Developer for 20 years. Along the way, I picked up a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology from San Jose State University, developed skills in graphic art, designed parade floats, and drew a cartoon strip for a women’s newsletter. While my twin sister focused her talent on 2-dimensional art and illustration, I always leaned toward sculpture and mixed media.

After the dot-com bust left me without a job, I started working on tile mosaics and tile murals which eventually led me back to clay. I started creating images of women, some serious and some comical. And I found myself gravitating toward African art and the qualities of symmetry and texture embodied in it. Now, as I develop my techniques, I split my efforts between creating dramatic African-influenced masks and sculpting images of women with a sense of humor. Then there are the chickens.  For some reason, chickens lend themselves to puns and wordplay and I find I can’t resist.  So there are chickens in my repertoire, too.

“I like being able to create my own people with their idiosyncratic personalities and hidden lives. When a sculpture “works” you can almost catch it move out of the corner of your eye or see a sudden change of expression—like magic.”

About the Process

My sculptures are made of ceramic paper clay—usually a white sculpture clay mixed with paper pulp to create a stronger, lighter-weight medium.  I build pieces using coil and slab techniques over newspaper forms then use a variety of commercial and hand-made or found tools to create textures and patterns.  The fired pieces are glazed multiple times and may be finished with various enamels, paints, and accessories. Some are assembled after firing using epoxies.

About the Chikins

My focus right now is on a series of humorous chicken sculptures that capitalize on the wealth of chicken-related puns in the English language and the popularity of chickens in general. My anthropomorphic “Chikins” are meant to be whimsical and to tickle the funny bone and touch the heart.

Coming Events & Venues

Schedule for 2016 (Fall Shows)

I am taking a brief sabbatical and will be showing at only one festival this year:

Tempe Festival of the Arts, Fri.-Sun., Dec. 2nd -4th, Tempe, AZ.


Website: www.elizburkhousedesigns.com

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