Elisa & The Studio

Artists Statement

Elisa Bartels is based in Sydney and her work is centred around pushing the boundaries of public perception on the capabilities of ceramics. 

Elisa’s career began by completing a Bachelor of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts majoring in ceramics and since then her practice has developed and strengthened.

She strives to inject her practice with subtlety and a whimsical strength which leads her to incorporate materials ranging from metal to plants.

Elisa’s work is stocked in retail stores, private residences and a 5 Star Michelin restaurant in Paris.

She has shown in both solo and group exhibitions.

What excites Elisa is subverting the perception that ceramics has in the broader community and opening up a dialogue by producing works which are complex, seductive and elegant.

“Clay is a nuanced material that transcends the domestic environment and confidently straddles the perceived divide between art and design.”

“I am thrilled to send Australian ceramics, with their blackfired earthiness and sensuality, across the seas to faraway lands.”

The blackfire process

Elisa is propelled to explore the ephemeral cycle of nature.

Her black fired ceramics aim to capture and emulate the fleeting moments of beauty in bloom and decay that signifies the transition of seasons and life cycle of plants.

Elisa Bartels black fired ceramics centre around the transformational alchemy of firing with sawdust in a closed container.

Each piece is wrapped in leaves and then placed in a tin with saw dust and sealed.

During the firing process the pores of the clay open and the smoke of the burning sawdust enters the piece. The leaves on the surface act as a resist.

As the work cools the pores close and smoke is trapped in the clay body resulting in a spectrum of finishes from black to grey with imprints of the leaves.


All the pieces are sealed making them food safe and dishwasher friendly. However, they prefer a gentle human touch.