We had the good fortune of connecting with Alisha Koppert and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alisha, what inspires you?
There is so much to inspire, and I especially find inspiration in the process of creating itself! Creating pottery is rich with metaphor and I find so much joy in moving through that process. Clay starts as a malleable mud, moves through the intense changes of forming, drying, and fire, and becomes a beautiful object that eventually will wear away. The ways that time, place, and journey affect natural objects is fascinating to me. The pebbles and fallen leaves we find on a neighborhood walk or the fallen tree by the lake shore all bear witness to a collection of moments that shape them in an individual and unique way. And we are no exception. The reality of change in a human life — formation, growth, refinement, trial, beauty, decay– really interest me. I try to be open to the process in my own life and I try to be open to the process in my ceramic work.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been working primarily as a functional potter, making objects that are meant to be a part of everyday life. I love to find beautiful forms, and I am always pulled into joy through the act of creating. Being all-in expands my sense of possibility and opens me up. When I get on the wheel, I have to leave all my thoughts and feelings aside and get totally engrossed in the process. And oftentimes, my thoughts and feelings seem to be given back with fresh perspective. I am curious about the relationship between form and function, as every potter must be, and the irregular pots really delight me, The crack in a piece that dried quickly, the undulating rim of a bowl thrown just slightly off center. There is a certain liveliness to them that I just love. My old kick wheel on which I throw most of my work, has a tiny wobble to it and I embrace and enjoy that! My work is a combination of so many different things, nuanced and individual, and I think that is reflective of the nature of life.
Each of us find objects that endear themselves to us, that keep showing up in our everyday rhythms and become a part of our lives. My hope is that my pieces inspire with their beauty and serve with their functionality.
I am also excited to explore some new tangents this year, experimenting with local clay I’ve dug and processed myself, and creating some larger sculptural pieces that reflect these themes of place and change and process.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Undoubtedly, my husband and four children have been a major support to my creativity and the pursuit of ceramics! I have always been one to follow a creative tangent, and their love and patience couldn’t go unmentioned. I am also so thankful to God for opening up opportunities and directing my life. Moving a lot, both in North America and internationally, throughout my childhood and also in adult life has nurtured in me a spirit of adventure and willingness to explore, and I see that bearing fruit in my creative process. I am so grateful for each place I’ve lived. The people, the places, and the experiences have shaped me and our family. Pottery came into my life again and again, and I kept meeting ceramicists here and there who encouraged and taught me, and helped keep the spark alive. When we moved to Waco, I found The Maker’s Edge, where I really got to dig in and go deeper, and I’m grateful for that space and the local creative community.

Website: www.koppertceramics.com

Instagram: @alishakoppertceramics

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alishakoppertceramics

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