Emily Schroeder Willis
In the past few years I have been trying to simplify the work I make. I try to make every mark on the surface of my work matter, every bend necessary, every line indispensable.
A line drawn can be an indication of time. A fingerprint expresses the slowness of its creation. Through this deliberate and intimate process of pinching, I create a different type of relationship between the viewer and object. My hands pressing their mark into the clay and the user picking it up, touching my fingermarks. Our hands touch.Fingerprints act as a brush stroke, each pinch making a formal impression of the hand that created it. Simplicity and the mark of the hand are important to my work, which steps back to a time where work isn't about production, but rather the touch of a fingertip.
Born in Minnesota, she received her BFA from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and her MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has received a Jerome Fellowship from the Northern Clay Center and a Sage Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation. She was an artist-in-residence/visiting artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin, Germany, the Alberta College of Art and Design in Canada and Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts in Maine. In 2012, she was a presenter at Arrowmont’s Utilitarian Clay Conference where Objective Clay, a ceramic collective she is currently part of, was formed. Her work has been exhibited in the Dubai Design Fair in the UAE, the Kansas City Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, the Ohio Craft Museum in Wooster, the Ralph Arnold Gallery in Chicago, and many others. Currently, she lives in Chicago where she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.