It doesn’t take a critic’s discerning eye to envision the landscape that inspires ceramicist Lise Herud Braten’s highly textured, freeform vessels and pods. We were immediately drawn to her moon vases, each one evoking our own memories of undulating snow drifts, icy blue seas and windswept sand.
In fact, Lise grew up surrounded by Norway’s beautifully rugged terrain and, though she calls London home now, her work continues to be informed by the Norwegian landscape and the natural environment she loves so much. “I find inspiration in craggy rocks, lichen, moss and layered tree bark, as well as urban decay,” she says.
Using an array of found objects as tools, Lise works with Japanese stretching and carving techniques in combination with wheel throwing, to create her stoneware and porcelain pieces. She is constantly experimenting with a range of clays, oxides, natural ash and her own glazes in soft, natural tones.
As a potter, Lise continues to cross the line between fine art and function, her collection evolving as she develops her creative process. “It’s very easy as a maker,” she says, “to be drawn to the more familiar vessel form, where any kind of opening makes the object feel more useable, but I think there is something incredibly good for our souls and well-being in having objects or art in our environment whose only purpose is to make us see their beauty and pause for a moment to take it in.”
As a result, you can find more traditionally formed vases in her collection, as well as organically shaped and hand-built enclosed pods that you could easily imagine stumbling upon on a winter beach walk.
Norway’s four very different seasons are never far from this city girl’s mind. “I love all times of the year equally,” she says. “But I find the quiet of winter really alluring and inspirational. The muted colors, the arched stems of plants frozen in a moment in time, and the low winter light.” Poetry lives in Lise’s ceramics.
In 2020, Lise and fellow maker Amanda-Sue Rope established Grove Vale Ceramics, an artist- run London gallery thoughtfully curated to showcase and champion the work of local contemporary ceramicists, alongside guest makers from around the UK.