Born in Oakland, CA, Elyse Pignolet is an American with Filipino heritage, living and working in Los Angeles. She attended California State University, San Francisco, studying Fine Arts. In 2001 she lived in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, studying arts and Spanish language. She completed her BFA degree in ceramics at CSU Long Beach in 2007. Her studies included an intensive ceramics tour through Mainland China, and she also attended the International Ceramics Biennale in Korea. She was awarded a CSU Long Beach Travel Scholarship for Art, and traveled to Lisbon, Portugal to study traditional tile murals. She has traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America.
Pignolet works primarily in ceramics and her work has been inspired by and dealt with various themes including social issues and topics from contemporary news articles. Her sculptures attempt to place the permanence and traditions of ceramics with the fleeting and transitory nature of the contemporary world.
She has created several bodies of work that contrast the extensive history of ceramics and the permanence of that material with the temporary nature of urban graffiti. The resulting works are hand-built sculptures that draw from the traditional calligraphies of the various cultures, urban architecture, combined with the lettering of contemporary urban writing to create abstract wall pieces. By placing some of these works in outdoor urban settings, they contrast strikingly with the existing graffiti and architecture.
Other ceramic projects have juxtaposed the brash nature of political news headlines with the subtle shapes of traditional ceramic forms. Her works have been featured in several contemporary arts publications including the LA Weekly, Juxtapoz Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times.