I create vessels and forms using slab-built techniques—these forms become the canvas for my evocative scenes of figures, nature, townscapes, and animals. The vases, vessels and wall pieces I make today evolved naturally from a strong foundation in producing utilitarian pottery, as well as creating works on paper with a variety of drawing techniques. Combining these once separate pursuits has been the main focus of my ceramic work; to merge the painted surface to three-dimensional form. In each body of work, I produce the sizes, shapes and contours vary, and suggest possibilities of embellishment and imagery. The imagery, whether applied in a random or deliberate way, produces a kind of lyrical narrative involving a combination of animal, figure, landscape, or architectural elements.
Before making Chicago her home, Laurie resided in southwest Wisconsin. She was a studio potter in the town of Mineral Point, while also serving an apprenticeship as an actor at American Players Theater in nearby Spring Green. For a number of years, she also served as the Program Coordinator of the Art in Public Places program, as well as the Visual Arts Coordinator for the Wisconsin Arts Board in Madison. Eventually relocating to Chicago, Laurie quickly became a part of local ceramics scene as a resident ceramic artist at Chicago’s Lill Street Art Center where she also held various directorial positions spanning from community outreach to educational programming. As director of the Lill Street gallery, Laurie curated dozens of exhibitions involving ceramic artists of local and national prominence. She also worked in the Department of Museum Education at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she participated in docent training as well as teaching sketch classes during special exhibitions. In 2009, Laurie has created a six-panel ceramic mural “In the Swim,” commissioned by the Public Art Program, City of Chicago, now installed and on view at the Hayes Park Natatorium in the Ashburn-Wrightwood community. Laurie Shaman’s studio is in the heart of the Ravenswood Corridor in Chicago.
“The vases, vessels and wall pieces I make today evolved naturally over time from a strong foundation producing utilitarian pottery, as well as having an ongoing practice of creating works on paper with a variety of drawing techniques. These once separate pursuits have been the basis of my ceramic work, and combined, produce for me the greatest satisfaction: merging the painted surface to three-dimensional form.”
~ Laurie Shaman