Bio

Sandra Luehrsen was born in Chicago, Illinois.  She earned BA and MA degrees at Northern Illinois University and an MFA at Arizona State University (ASU).  In 1999, Luehrsen left a position as assistant dean of the ASU Graduate to start her own art business.  She also teaches 3D design at Mesa Community College and presents clay workshops.  Luehrsen exhibits her ceramic sculpture and digital artwork locally, nationally, and internationally. 


The Auckland Institute and Museum in New Zealand, the Arizona State University Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center, the former West Valley Art Museum, the Cities of Phoenix, Tempe, Peoria, and Chandler, the Kamm Teapot Foundation, and many notable private and corporate collections hold her work.  500 Prints on Clay, 500 Teapots 2, Smashing Glazes, and The Ceramic Surface Design Book are just a few of several books that include Luehrsen’s earthenware sculpture.  HGTV’s Crafters Coast to Coast and KGUN9’s The Morning Blend featured Luehrsen’s art.


For recreation, Luehrsen swims, walks, and researches family history.  She and her brother, Dr. Kenneth Luehrsen, are avid fans of The Rockford Files.


Statement

I came from Chicago to this wild place, Arizona, for a new beginning.  I didn’t expect it but the exotic flora fascinated me right from the start.  Inspired by the desert, I use clay to create my own hybrids.


At least two parts comprise many of my sculptures.  They have a container and a plant.  I blur the lines between the two.  The container becomes the plant and the plant morphs into the container.  Growth is almost intrinsic to the clay.  The material itself bursts with life force.


I use red earthenware clay.  Each sculpture goes through multiple firings--a bisque firing at 1987° F (cone 03); two or more glaze firings at 1828° F (cone 06); and, for some works, ceramic transfer or metallic luster firings at 1360° or 1252° F respectively (cone 017 or 019).  I make a boron-based creamy matte glaze with raw materials and add ceramic stains for color.  I also fire nichrome (i.e., kiln element) wire into the sculpture and apply gold or copper metallic luster to it for glowing warmth.

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