My recent work began to coalesce after a confluence of losses. I found myself with a heightened appreciation of our biology and a visceral connection to the natural world. I collected rocks, shells, leaves, twigs, acorns, burrs, feathers, lichen, and bone. The veins of leaves mimicked my own. Gnarled branches resembled wrinkled flesh. My abiding interest in human anatomy and natural objects manifests in the joy of pinching, pushing, and shaping porcelain. I begin making with an intent but inevitably porcelain, and its distinctive materiality, is a partner. I entertain myself by exploring its limits, especially drawn to texture and pattern. Bones become branches. Geodes evolve into pinch pots. The exploration is an endless loop of material and maker.”
Janet E. Samuel attended Franconia College in New Hampshire, one of the first experimental schools in the U.S. She graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, receiving the prestigious J. Henry Schiedt Memorial Traveling Scholarship. After operating a faux finishing business with her partner for 10 years, she returned to PAFA, where she earned her MFA. Samuel has exhibited in Philadelphia and nationally and is represented in the collections of Rutgers University in New Jersey, Cooper Hospital in Camden, among others. She produces handbuilt porcelain pinch pots with distinctive cracked exteriors, hand-carved branches, bones, acorns, eggs, eggshells, and internal organs, utilizing oxides to enhance texture, celadon glazes, and sometimes, gold leaf.
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