“For me, renewal comes from uninterrupted time making art. When I realized years ago that I’m happiest when I’m working in a studio, I knew I was truly meant to be an artist.”
Lesley traveled to Japan and China to experience history and culture and to participate in an immersive artist residency at The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. Jingdezhen has been renowned for centuries for its porcelain production, and as a ceramics professor, this journey was essential. Lesley traveled to Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan and then to Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai, Hong Kong, China, and Chiang Mai, Thailand. For Lesley, what was unique about her residency was that she was completely immersed in the culture and had to fire her work in public kilns, buy glaze from one artist, and hire another to apply the glazes. She learned to work with the local artisans and navigate their integrated way of life. “What has surprised me about my experience is, first, I feel like I am still processing the experience. It was so different from any place I have ever been and the people were so different….The experience will long influence the work I am making.”
By working with an international group of artists during her residency, Lesley met new friends and through an exchange of ideas, was invited to submit to a conference that will be held in Australia in July 2015 as well as was invited to Red Deer College in Canada. Lesley specializes in image transfer on ceramics and found a new transfer type that she had not previously seen in the United States. She was able to purchase some of the paper for possible use in her work. According to Lesley, timing is everything and shortly after that discovery, AMACO, the leading manufacturer of ceramic products and art supplies, contacted her about consulting on the development of ceramic printing materials. AMACO and Lesley are working together to see if the paper might, in fact, be the key to creating new materials.
Associate Professor of Ceramics, Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Participated in numerous artist residencies including the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/ Industry Residency Program
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Ceramics, Rhode Island School of Design