My name is Lisa Ellul and my path to becoming a ceramist began in Liverpool in 1990 while working as a bank clerk. Feeling totally out of place in the office environment I visited the local careers office during one lunchtime. When asked what area of work I was interested in I had no hesitation in replying that I wanted to be an artist! An interview was arranged with Liverpool City College, and by the following week I’d been accepted onto the Art Foundation course. My creative journey had begun!
I had two fantastic years at Liverpool City College working in different mediums and materials. I soon discovered that I loved building with my hands and creating three dimensional objects. For my final show I created a very intricate chair made entirely from cardboard, wire sculptures and paper vessels.
I applied to Manchester Metropolitan University to study a degree in Three Dimensional Design and after a very tough interview and drawing exam I was accepted.
The course allowed us to work in glass, ceramics, wood and metal during the first year and then specialise in two areas for the remainder of the degree.
I started the degree with a firm plan to specialise in metal with the aim of becoming a jeweller. That all changed in a morning when I touched clay for the first time. I was totally smitten! I loved the versatility of clay. There was no hesitation in choosing ceramics as my main discipline with metalwork as my secondary.
It was during my second year of study that I was selected to take part in an exchange programme to study ceramics at Blaker College in Norway. It was here in the isolation of rural Norway in the depths of winter that my true love of ceramics blossomed.
Unlike the urban landscape of Manchester, Blaker College was surrounded by miles and miles of frozen forests and lakes. Stunningly beautiful and peaceful. Not that I didn’t love the hustle, bustle and vibrancy of Manchester! It was just so different to anywhere I’d ever experienced. The college workshops were open to students 24 hours a day so we weren’t restricted to being creative during daytime hours. I loved working late in the evening, enjoying the solitude and becoming totally absorbed in my work with no distractions. It really was a special and creative time.
I returned to Manchester and completed my degree, graduating in 1995. In 1997 with the help of arts council and Prince's Trust funding I set up my ceramics business from the living room of a rented house in Hulme, Manchester! I couldn’t as yet afford studio space!
I was soon exhibiting my ceramics at trade events, galleries and contemporary ceramic and craft fairs.
Since setting up in 1997 I have exhibited throughout the United Kingdom as well as America and Europe. My work is in the collection of the Manchester Art Gallery and William Ismay's private collection since donated to the Yorkshire Museum.
My love of ceramics has never diminished!