By DeAnn Lubell

Profile photo by Marilyn Woo.  Art photos submitted by Elisabeth Pollnow.

She has the face of a model; the sweetness of an angel; the talent of a master; and the fortitude of a lioness.  She is sculptor Elisabeth Pollnow.  Her distinctive art borders between three-dimensional and two-dimensional forms working out themes found in the natural world.  This sixth sense of creativity stems from her early years of living in isolated areas of North Dakota and Alaska.

Elisabeth moved with her family to Twentynine Palms in 2016.  It was then her artwork transitioned from repurposing found organic material such as large leaves or bark from trees indigenous of those areas.  Now, living in California’s high desert region above Palm Springs, she began to process her own clay from a dry lakebed near her house thus launching her unique style of sculptures.


‘I had an urgency to reconnect with my environment in a way that felt like being home again, or maybe more than that, to have roots,” said Elisabeth.  “My goal is to find the soul of the clay, whether forming figures from seemingly barren ground or telling a story in bas-relief.  Collecting and processing local clay brings me a tactile connection to my surroundings and the journey of creation fascinates me as much as the end result.  A successful creation should translate the artist’s intention in a way that words cannot.”

Clay is now her primary medium, whether water-based and oil-based. The physicality of using a kiln to fire the greenware, or the time-intensive process of molding copies in plaster, resin or bronze, continues her joy of discovery as the work emerges transformed. She has created projects for the entertainment industry as well as professional contract sculpting on large-scale projects for public monuments within the Los Angeles area, working for world-renowned sculptor Christopher Slatoff since 2010. She has won several awards for her work and has exhibited in Pasadena, San Fernando, the Morongo Valley, Solvang, and Coronado. She is a currently a member of the California Art Club, the National Sculpture Society, Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, and 29 Palms Artist’s Guild.

Currently, Elisabeth is working on several larger projects including a collaborative monument commemorating the advocacy of military wives during the Vietnam war as illustrated in the “League of Wives” book by Heath Lee. This life-size, four figure bronze will be located in downtown Coronado Island.  She will also be participating in an open studio event at 420 West Ave. 33, Los Angeles, CA 90031 on 4/20/23 from 5-8pm.  Later this spring, she will be installing her 3′ clay sculpture “Adoption” on the campus of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Yorba Linda. It is honoring the efforts to property manager in charge of groundskeeping who teaches life skill classes to students.

To find out more about Elisabeth Fredericks Pollnow please go to her website: