Les Lawrence

Written by Dolores Tropiano Category: People Issue: November 2011
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In his latest work, Lawrence’s love for the Mona Lisa (his dog goes by the same name) led him to discover a way to plaster her picture on porcelain teapots. He also uses images such as dollar bills to create subtle narratives on eye-catching, complex containers that start at $100. The process involves an intricate printmaking method of mono-printing the symbols on wet porcelain clay from a plaster slab. Note to tea pot collectors: Don’t even think about drinking out of these highly nonfunctional, handcrafted vessels.

Lawrence, 70, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and received his bachelor’s degree in art from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Later, he obtained a master’s degree in fine art in ceramics from Arizona State University while studying sculpture, watercolor, painting and more.

“I became interested, even obsessed, with ceramics,” says Lawrence, who has hosted nearly 300 exhibitions in more than eight countries over the past five decades. His work has also been featured in the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York.

Beyond his burning passion for pottery, Lawrence says, “Ceramics is just an excuse to light a fire.”

Watch Lawrence and nearly 200 artists at work during the 15th-annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour November 18-20 and November 25-27 in and around Carefree and Cave Creek. For more information, visit hiddeninthehills.org.