Tag Archives: Ashley Lyon

Q & A with Ashley Lyon

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Ashley Lyon

Hornell ceramic artist Ashley Lyon

Ashley Lyon

Q: Where are you from originally and where are you now?
A: I was born and raised in Southern California, Orange County. I left at 18 and moved to Seattle for Undergrad, then to Montana and Colorado for residencies and then back to Washington State for 2 years before moving to Virginia for Graduate School. Following Graduate school I moved to NYC and then 3 years ago I moved to Hornell, NY for a teaching position. I currently live in Hornell.

Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a ceramic artist?
A: I took a lot of ceramics courses in high school, they invented independent study courses for me because I had already taken everything the school offered and I still wanted to pursue it further. In college I tried to focus on something else- I thought perhaps I would become a doctor or a scientist or a writer. When it came time to declare a major the advisor pointed out to me that I had the most credits in art courses despite my desire to become something other than an artist. So this convinced me I should probably just do art. I had to decide between a painting major and a ceramics major because they would not let me do a double major- so I picked Ceramics because at the University of Washington the most exciting things and interesting discussions seemed to be coming from that department. Anyone could major in ceramics whether or not they were using clay- many people were not using clay and this just added to the richness of the program- you could still be a ceramics major by embracing a process that had more to do with the “sensibility” or an approach to clay without actually using it. This completely shaped how I think about it and use it in my own work today.

Q: Did you make other types of artwork before finding ceramics? Do you currently make other work?
A: I make and have made many other things: drawing, painting, videos, photography, textiles. My main other medium that I exhibit professionally along with my ceramic objects is photography.

Q: Do you have an artistic hero or an artist you look up to?
A: There are many, many artists I admire and look up to, I consistently admire and learn from the work of Juan Munoz and Robert Gober. Upon seeing each of their works for the first time I immediately knew and understood all of it- it was a feeling in my gut and my heart that was incredibly inspiring.

Q: What is your largest source of inspiration?
A: I can’t really describe a singular source of inspiration. My impulse to make a piece comes from many things, places, people, and images. Sometimes it is something I’ve seen on the internet, sometimes it is something someone says or something I’ve read, sometimes it is something I’ve witnessed randomly on the street, at a bar, at a restaurant, anywhere really. Sometimes it is a special person or a special object but it can also be something completely banal or someone I don’t know. The main thread is that I tend to start with objects, images, or moments that I have had an intense empathetic connection to. My pieces change and shift significantly as I make them in the studio. Chance, accidents and mishaps are a large source of inspiration and influence upon the final artworks.

Q: Do you look forward to opening the kiln? Or do you wince at the thought of something going wrong in there?
A: A lot of my work is never fired because it is built to become a photograph, but because I embrace accidents and mishaps I have a very neutral relationship with the kiln when I do fire a piece. I look forward to opening the door but rarely do I see what I expected. This is exciting.

Q: What is it like being a ceramic artist in Upstate NY?
A: I have made my work in many places across the country and internationally so making in Upstate NY does not feel particularly distinct for me in relation to my work. I do love it here. I feel good in my soul when I am struck by the natural beauty of everything around me; the seasons, the growth, the colors, the textures. This does not have a direct influence upon my work but it does influence my happiness in life.

I own a large building (a re-purposed Methodist church) that I have remodeled over the last 3 years with my partner Ian McMahon to be our home and studio and an art center. This building was affordable for us to purchase and remodel because it is located in Upstate New York. This is perhaps the most significant influence of location upon my artwork. I have complete access to a very large affordable space, which has been a dream studio for making large-scale sculptures and photographs.

Q: Where else are you showing your work this summer or fall?
A: Nothing planned or scheduled yet! I will be teaching a ceramic workshop at OxBow this summer and am looking forward to that. I am deep in the throws of applying to everything under the sun… and am excited for what the next year may hold in store for me!

Q: Is there anything strange or unique that people might not know about you?
A: I am Co-Founder and Co-Director of an artist-run exhibition center in Hornell, NY: The Belfry.

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Sculpture by Ashley Lyon

Where can people see more of your work/follow you?
Websites: www.ashleylyon.com and www.belfryarts.com

Check out the previous Q & A with ceramic artist Bethany Krull.

Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational

The Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational at Main Street Arts will feature functional and sculptural ceramic work by 13 artists from the region. This invitational represents some of the most exciting contemporary ceramic work being made in upstate New York.

The exhibition will be held July 11–August 29, 2015.
Online purchasing will begin in mid-July.

Bryan Hopkins
Buffalo, NY
www.hopkinspottery.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

Bryan Hopkins

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bryan Hopkins

New Work by Bryan Hopkins

 

Michael Hughes
Syracuse, NY
www.mrhstudio.com

Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes

Artwork by Syracuse ceramic artist Michael Hughes

Porcelain and Stoneware Bowls by Michael Hughes

 

Bethany Krull
Buffalo, NY
www.bethanykrull.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Artwork by Buffalo ceramic artist Bethany Krull

Four Hungry Birds by Bethany Krull

 

Ashley Lyon
Hornell, NY
www.ashleylyon.com

Hornell ceramic artist Ashley Lyon

Ashley Lyon

Artwork by Hornell ceramic arist Ashley Lyon

Bent Leg by Ashley Lyon

 

Colleen McCall
Elmira, NY
www.colleenmccallceramics.com

Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Colleen McCall

Artwork by Elmira ceramic artist Colleen McCall

Golden Basin Bowl by Colleen McCall

 

Peter Pincus
Rochester, NY
www.peterpincus.com

Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Peter Pincus

Artwork by Penfield ceramic artist Peter Pincus

Vases by Peter Pincus

 

Joanna Poag
Rochester, NY
www.joannapoag.com

Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Joanna Poag

Artwork by Rochester ceramic artist Joanna Poag

Flourish by Joanna Poag

 

Jeremy Randall
Tully, NY
www.jeremyrandallceramics.com

Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Jeremy Randall

Artwork by Tully ceramic artist Jeremy Randall

Mugs by Jeremy Randall

 

Jody Selin
Buffalo, NY
www.jodyselin.com

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Jody Selin

Buffalo ceramic artist Jody Selin

Sculpture by Jody Selin

Kala Stein
Canadice, NY
www.kalastein.com

Canadice ceramic artist Kala Stein

Kala Stein

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Kala Stein

Umbra by Kala Stein

 

Kate Symonds
Canandaigua, NY
www.coachstreetclay.com

Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Kate Symonds

Artwork by Canandaigua ceramic artist Kate Symonds

Teapot by Kate Symonds

 

Hannah Thompsett
Alfred, NY
www.hannahthompsett.com

Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

Hannah Thompsett

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Hannah Thompsett

 New Work by Hannah Thompsett

 

Virginia Torrence
Alfred, NY
www.virginiatorrence.com

Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Virginia Torrence

Artwork by Alfred ceramic artist Virginia Torrence

Sculpture by Virginia Torrence

Stay tuned for more information on the Upstate New York Ceramics Invitational. Check our Facebook page or website for more updates.