Hi! I’m Lisa Schmidt, the owner of Good Press Ceramics. I’ve been designing tiles for years but officially opened my Seattle studio in the fall of 2012.
I took my first ceramics classes while attending Massachusetts College of Art many years ago. Although I loved working with clay, I was excited about the idea of designing space and working collaboratively with other people. That ultimately led to a career in architecture.
While I still love drawing and designing space, there is nothing like the freedom of working with clay. Ceramics is an art form that allows a tremendous range of creative exploration. From form and function to surface design and color, there are always new techniques to learn and develop.
I think we’re drawn to patterns as a way of finding order in the world. I’m fascinated by combining the predictability of patterns with the uncertain nature of ceramics. The variations of chemistry and heat make uniformity in handmade ceramic tiles impossible and it’s the variations that give the patterns life.
When I design tiles, I begin with paper tessellations. After hours of scissors work, I select a few of the most evocative ones. This process eventually leads to a sculpted tessellating animal. When the clay original is leather hard, I make a plaster mold.
I find inspiration from a wide variety of sources including: textiles, origami, quilts, Islamic patterns, M.C. Escher, woodcut prints, puzzles, and, of course, nature. The list is constantly growing and influencing what I’m working on. My process is very traditional but I strive to push the boundaries of form with imagination and a sense of humor.