Raised on a rural New England farm, Elizabeth Bonzani spent most of her childhood surrounded by horses, sheep, dogs, and for a while, a rescued deer. Long days roaming the fields and woods of southern New England fostered a deep love of nature. When she wasn’t outside, Elizabeth spent her time on art projects. At the age of eight she saw a friend’s mother throwing pots on a wheel. It was at that moment that she determined that she would become a potter.
Upon graduating high school in 1979, she went on to attend Rochester Institute of Technology and earned her A.A.S. degree in Photo Finishing and Processing Management. While she enjoyed photography and working in the lab it did not satisfy her soul. Restless, she moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and then to Flagstaff in 1983 to study at Northern Arizona University. She fell in love with the Southwest and her soon to be husband, Dean, and never left.
While at NAU, Elizabeth became dissatisfied with school and decided to plunge into her own creative business. Through a series of fortuitous events she opened a bakery with her friend and mentor, the late Charles McClain. For two years she worked long hours creating artisan breads, specialty cakes, and gourmet desserts. She sold her half of the business when she was blessed with the birth of her son, Christopher.
Five years later, when their son began school, Elizabeth and Dean decided to embark on another creation and a new business was born. In 1993 they opened Zani, a specialty furniture store, which over time, evolved into a beautiful card and gift shoppe. During those years, Elizabeth returned to NAU where she was able to pursue her passion for clay. She spent many late nights working in the studio, soaking up as much knowledge as she could, selling her work at their store. In addition to creating her art, Elizabeth became a Reiki Master. A series of transformational experiences lead Elizabeth and Dean to again change their life path. After twenty years of representing a myriad of artists and craftsmen, Elizabeth and Dean sold Zani so that they could both pursue their own art careers in earnest.
Elizabeth now crafts stoneware vessels for the hearth and home. Her deepening Reiki practice influences her work. She is a member of the Flagstaff Potter’s Guild and the Flagstaff Artists Coalition. Her studio is nestled at the base of the San Francisco Peaks whose powerful presence inspires her work.