Jay Jensen’s functional ceramics begins on the computer using a CAD program to design the form, and then it is printed into flat patterns that will later be transferred to slabs of clay and folded into 3D forms. His work references the modernist design movement, technology, graphic design, and architecture. His approach to the development of the work stems from previous experience as a graphic designer and interest in combining technology with traditional pottery.
Jay Jensen at MudFire
Jay Jensen Artist Statement
My functional ceramics begins on the computer using a CAD program to design the form, and then it is printed into flat patterns that will later be transferred to slabs of clay and folded into 3D forms. I also use the computer to design graphic patterns that are cut by a local sign company to create masks or resists for glazing the surface of my work. My approach to the development of my work stems from my previous experience as a graphic designer and my interest in combining technology with traditional pottery. In other words combining hard edge technology with soft clay that is put together with hands leaving traces of being handmade.
My work has references to the modernist design movement, technology, graphic design, and architecture. At the turn of the century, William Morris rejected the use of machines and embraced the importance of labor. Fifty years later Russell Wright used the latest technology to mass-produce affordable, well designed pottery for everyone to use in his or her homes. I find both designers to be important to my philosophy and values. Just as Morris valued the presence of the hand to be involved in the making, I find it important to spend hours designing on the computer, assembling slabs of clay, and glazing using intricate vinyl masks. I hope the user who purchases my work shares the joy of labor I exert. Although I may not be interested in mass production and providing a large community with affordable pottery as Russell Wright had done, I do feel it is important to provide people with well-designed approachable functional objects. It is important to myself as a potter to design things thoughtfully and beautifully and to make using objects enjoyable just as Wright had envisioned his clients to experience.