Leah Kaplan has experience of more than 30 years of working with clay, honing her skills in studios and schools in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Kaplan began her full-time practice in 2018 after renovating a facility in a restored 19th-century glass factory. Her eclectic career path to ceramics included encouraging New York City designers and preserving indigenous craft traditions. She was lucky enough to meet talented artisans working in every conceivable medium during her time at the last job, and their work continues to influence her own. Her exquisite vessels have featured in internationally juried shows across the United States.
Leah Kaplan, through her sculptural vessels, explores movement, texture, and translucence. She works primarily with porcelain, using only clear glaze or no glaze at all; Kaplan examines and pushes the material's unique properties by experimenting with different hand-building methods.
Each way of working, such as pressing, rolling, draping, and layering, has its rhythm and feel and influences how she perceives and interacts with a piece. Some methods necessitate meticulousness, while others are more random. Some techniques, such as a high-wire performance, require complete focus, while others allow her mind to wander and her hands to take control. In the end, it is this iterative process — driven by intent and intuition — from which Kaplan's work emerges. Each piece is a material expression of tension and balance amidst competing impulses.