skip to Main Content
  • Basic Information

    Profile Info
    Artist Medium:Clay
    Contact Info
    Studio Name:Judith Ernst City:Chapel Hill State:NC Website:
    Social Profiles
  • About / Bio


    Originally from the Northwest, with a B.A. from Stanford University, I have painted, published illuminated books, and lived and traveled extensively in Asia. Now working primarily in ceramic sculpture, I draw images from the deep well of past experience, always starting from a strong "mind's eye" vision.

    My work as a ceramist has focused on the interplay of traditional forms and sculptural expression. I use the vessel form conceptually, because clay vessels have an inside, an inner dimension. An enclosed form is extroverted; it displaces space and interacts with its environment. Imagine the same enclosed form but with a small entrance to an interior. The form becomes introverted, self-contained; it has an existential presence connected to its mysterious inner space. In the ancient world, vessels were used functionally, but also metaphorically in ritual and literature, employing some of the same ideas of interiority. Looking back to these antecedents, I treat the metaphor of the inner as a resonant subject matter for non-functional ceramic art pieces. Implied are the dichotomies between the inner and outer, the hidden and the seen, the created world and the ineffable mystery. Cutting through the wall and changing the angles of the various connecting planes in my complex tessellated patterns, I create deep relief, a dynamic movement that leads the eye to the inside of the vessel, opening a dialogue between the vessel’s outer planes and inner spaces.

    In the past few years I’ve created a number of stacked pieces (“Flight of the Hamsa" and “Flying to the Inside (Water)” are examples). An ongoing project is to use this visual language to explore human consciousness via the portrait in my “Refracted Journeys: Portraits” series. This series expands my concept of the “inside” of the vessel to the head and our notion of consciousness, implying the refracted nature of the psyche and its ineffable journey.

    I show my work during the Tour at my studio at my home in the forest. You can also see my work at FRANK at University Place in Chapel Hill at 201 Estes Dr.

    To see more about my work, go to:  or check out my Instagram page at: @jernst345

    Judith Ernst

    List of Current Images, going left to right from the top:

    1. "Parallelogram 3"; glazed stoneware; 8.5" X 9.5"

    2. "Flight of the Hansa", glazed stoneware, gold luster, gold leaf, stone base; 38" X 15"

    3. "Parallelogram 1"; glazed stoneware, stone base; 15" X 8.5"

    4. "Autumnal Equinox"; glazed stoneware; 16.5" X 14"

    5. "Unfolding 2"; glazed stoneware; 18" X 13"

    6. "Refracted Journeys: Portrait 3"; glazed stoneware, stone base; 20" X 11" X 10"

    7. "Pinwheels"; glazed stoneware; 12" X 10"

    8. "Journey to the Source 2"; glazed stoneware; 18" X 15"

    9. "Flying to the Inside (Water)"; glazed stoneware, gold luster, stone base; 28" X 15"

You have to be logged in to send messages

Camera on a desk
Person molding a jar on a pottery wheel
Back To Top