Vasefinder Nationals 2010
Exhibitor 90

Jake Johnson

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, USA

Title: untitled

Year of Creation: 2009

Glaze: Shaner's Clear

Clay Body: Porcelain

Dimensions: Height 14 inches, Width 6 inches

Artist's Statement: The way that I approach making vessel forms is similar to the way that I draw. I start by mapping out initial gestural lines and marks creating a composition. The I apply more layers of detail, depth, and form, and continue until I decide the piece is finished. I tend to work intuitively and spontaneously, pushing the clay around on a whim, sometimes getting a rhythm and just going with it. Working this way allows the pieces to evolve and grow as they are made, while also allowing more opportunity for discovery.

I strive to have a feeling of animation in my work that expresses or suggests gesture and energy. Vessels, being inherently biomorphic lend themselves well to such qualities. Individual components of vessels can be interpreted as bellies, lips, feet, neck, hips and shoulders to name a few. The volume within the vessel can also suggest breath and weight. I exploit all these characteristics on the surfaces and forms of the work I create.

The inspiration for many of these forms and surfaces come from nature. Nature and its many life forms offer an infinite palette of forms and shapes to work from and explore. Such a variety and diversity of life exists in nature--from plants and animals, to viruses and bacteria and everything in between; the thing that ties it all together is energy. Energy and the ability to move, grow, and ultimately die, is the common thread which exists in all of nature and life. This element of energy is at the core of my work and the pieces which best exemplify it, are in my mind, the most successful.

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