Eli has been working in clay since the Fall of 2007. She took a ceramics class with Roger Jamison during her undergraduate program at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Admittedly, she was disinterested in continuing work with clay until the class fired a small wood kiln; she was hooked. She spent the rest of her time in school making work to fire with a group of older potters in an anagama kiln in Juliette, Georgia.
After a teaching fellowship with Public Allies in Estes Park, Colorado, Eli moved to Asheville, NC in the fall of 2011 to pursue life as a studio potter. In recent years, her work has evolved from simple, imprinted slab forms into a texture study on functional pots. She's spent countless hours in the woods of Western North Carolina, reading field guides, and hand-carving bark onto pots. The result is a series of true-to-life trees made from clay. While some work features geometric designs, those forms serve as a usable sketchbook for a break from more labor-intensive projects. Her goal is to create functional sculpture that allows for quiet reflection.
Eli lives with a large cat named Flint and a hound dog named Bonanza Jellybean, who is also her studio assistant and gallery consultant. Outside of clay, she enjoys bikes, books, hiking, and camping.