Loren Scherbak has had a love of clay since attending Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. She earned her BFA in printmaking and ceramics in 1979 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She has been making and showing ceramics for more than 45 years.
Loren explores the physical and historical characteristics of ceramics to communicate subtle visual, tactile, and emotive experiences of the natural world. She incorporates local flora, such as leaves, directly as tools for drawing, to create forms, textures, and patterns that evoke her Mid-Atlantic home.
Loren reduces the use of harmful chemicals by working with local clay and an energy-efficient wood-fueled kiln. Her palette uses readily–available iron oxide which reacts with the atmosphere in the kiln to create surfaces that are integrated into her forms. The atmosphere in the kiln consists of free–floating ash, flame movement through the kiln, unburned gases from the combustion of wood, and oxygen. The amount of available oxygen in the kiln at different stages in the firing affects the iron oxide and creates different colors and textures on the surfaces of her work. She is committed to minimizing her environmental footprint while still achieving her artistic goals.