Shanna Fliegel

©2018 by Shanna Fliegel.

process video


my process

Image Generation

I love old etchings for their fine lines and quirky subject matter. The intaglio process aligns itself closely with the way I draw and its aesthetics speaks to my obsession with line quality.

Searching for old texts with animal illustrations at thrift stores is a favorite pastime. Collecting photos of architecture and stream-of-conscious drawing inform the narratives that develop on clay canvases.



Drawing, collaging and painting on paper is an integral part of my making.


Have you ever considered what the landscape would look like without human imposition? Imagine your surroundings void of architecture, agriculture and technology. Radioactive elements, plastic pollution, deforestation, carbon dioxide emissions, the extinction of species, mining, raised sea levels and even the abundance of the domesticated chicken are among the few reasons for geologists to consider the possibility that we no longer live in the Holocene epoch, but rather the Anthropocene, an age where human activity has permanently changed the course of climate and dominated natural systems.

Books such as "A Wilder Place," and the "Sixth Extinction" are on my reading list.



Repeating a selection of symbols and images contributes to the narrative. I tend to use floats, hooks, beds, anchors, snow, navigational devices, girls, snails, and other creatures to develop stories.

Found Objects

Finding joy in what's around me is always making its way into the clay.

Shanna Fliegel WS Edited LAC 4.29.2017 - 18.jpg


Typically I only use the wheel for cups and mugs. When I need to fill an order, or want to feel productive, I turn to throwing. My preferred way of creating handles is through pinching.

Favorite Tools

That small red rib is magical!



As an extension of the drawn line, I am attracted to anything I can push, press or squeeze into the surface of clay. Its ability to record impressions reveals a certain degree of honesty in the process.


Red earthenware is my clay of choice. After pulling a slump mold, removing a wall tile from a press mold, or adding a handle to a mug, white slip is added to the surface. Hake brushes are my brush of choice, although spraying on the slip is an alternative at times. Once the slip is bone dry, I typically sketch the drawings with a dull pencil. Using a sharp pin tool I then outline, stipple and carve the imagery.


Black Wash

After bisquing, I layer on a black wash and wipe away the excess to highlight the etched lines.


With fine brushes I painstakingly paint sections of the images with glaze. Stroke-n-Coats, thinned Amoco Velvet Underglazes, and personally mixed glazes comprise my palette.

Once the color is laid down, I use wax to resist all of the areas that need to be isolated from a background glaze color. From here the glaze is either dipped, sprayed or painted on.


Insides and Under

Paying attention to the insides and underneath pieces is important to finishing the work.


I fire to cone 04 in an electric kiln.