Elizabeth Pechacek was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, by her artist mother and chemist father. She grew up making all manner of things and found her way to clay in college. She earned a BFA in ceramics and a BA in art history from Indiana University in 2012. She now operates her ceramic studio in Minneapolis and teaches at Powderhorn Park and The Northern Clay Center. Her work is all either handbuilt or slip cast from handbuilt prototypes. Layered with slip, stains, and glaze, the work achieves a rich and complex surface that above all communicates a sense of touch. Pechacek draws from a diverse range of historical sources, such as Mimbres and Neolithic Chinese pottery. She bridges these influences with Danish Modern Ceramics and the work of such pioneers as Lucie Rie and Ruth Duckworth.
I am fascinated by the burst of energy that finds a new form, and inspired by the calm obsession required to winnow that shape into the most ideal proportions. I then apply color and line to the surface of an object in a playful re-examination of the original idea. I use this process of invention, perfection and appraisal to charge a cup, bowl, or sculpture with a vibration which can create a positive disruption in usual patterns of living. If I can create and share something unexpected through this exploration, then I feel that my objects can be of use. The implied expectation of interaction with pottery is deeply ingrained in our culture, making this medium a perfect vehicle for my work. My desire to sculpt comes directly from within the patterns of my work as a potter. I do not think I can do one without the other, for each experiment fuels the next in a studio practice of perpetual motion without conclusion.