Lisa Ernst
Harpfarm Pottery Works

Contact Information:
South of Helena, MT off of I-15: At this time, Studio visits are by appointment only.


From Helena; take I-15 south towards Butte to the Jefferson City exit. (18 miles) Turn right off the exit ramp into Jefferson City. At the stop sign turn right (north) and drive 3.5 miles. Turn left at the last driveway, 343 North Main, before the pavement ends.


Studio Description:
Born 1954 Sagami hara, Japan, lived in France in the early 60’s, Ireland in the mid-eighties. Montana for 29 years.


Began clay work at the age of 13(high school) I went on to study clay under Ken Ferguson at the Kansas City Art Institute;BFA 1976, following up with a Master of Arts from the University of Wisconsin in 1978. I moved to the Helena area for it’s fine rural mountain qualities and the Archie Bray Foundation.


In 1991, established Harpfarm Pottery Works in Avon, MT;relocating to Jefferson City in 2005.At this time, I worked almost exclusively with cone 10 porcelain on the wheel. The property in Avon was off grid, no electrical conveniences. Randall kick wheel and 50 cubic foot propane kiln. It offered some challenging restrictions, mainly the need to produce enough to fill the kiln for bisque, which was the equivalent of 2-3 glaze firings. The cycle of production was inflexible.


General influences come from a life long appreciation and use of Japanese, English and Jugtown ware and Mexican functional clay. A deep appreciation for the qualities found in the ware of indigenous cultures, some extinct, mostly rural Malian, Old Chinese, Celtic etc.where there is a deeper symbolic value to the patterns, where I find connection to the human aspect of the non-physical.


I developed an etching process for the surface design; carving being too time consuming.


The esthetic qualities I look for are the essentials of the natural world, utilizing local botanicals, birds and fish. Imbuing their qualities both in shape and surface design.While the majority of my work is functional, I’ve been investigating sculpture and bas relief tiles.

Potters Mark:
Hand painted signature and date.
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