Jennifer Martin: New Work

Aug 7th - Aug 30th, 2009

Jennifer Martin is a vessel maker and educator who currently oversees the Education Program at The Clay Studio and serves as The Studio's General Manager. She received her BFA from Georgia Southern University in 1997 and her MFA from Georgia State University in 2000. Since joining The Clay Studio's staff her impact has been profound. Her generous spirit and incredible Southern charm have quickly made her a beloved and an integral member of The Clay Studio Community.

Jennifer's vessels celebrate and exploit both the material properties of clay and one of her tools of choice, the potters wheel. Though made on the wheel her forms, freely and fluidly thrown, are purposefully asymmetrical. Each vessel retains her sensitive touch with aggressive yet refined throwing lines prevalent. Pushing many forms to their limits, Jennifer masterfully allows walls to slightly collapse, both reinforcing and defining the gesture and movement within each piece.

In writing about her work Jennifer states, "My ceramic work celebrates tradition while not being inhibited by its vast history. I strive to reveal the sensual nature of clay as reflected by the touch of my hand. Using similar tools and processes to that of a traditional potter, I look not towards the ideal symmetrical vessel but instead towards asymmetry. My work often acts as a metaphor for the physical body, and I consider function secondary to fluidity and gesture in the form. While the marks on the surface of the pots record the history of my hand in its creation, these same marks represent an individual’s experience. Like the rings seen in the cross-section of a tree, these marks provide a history of growth. In a similar manner I use the repetitive lines and patterns in my work to create a vocabulary able to describe gender, a specific situation, a human journey or simply one’s personality make-up. "

"Both the scale of the work and the way the work is grouped is of utmost importance to me. I hope to elevate the ceramic vessel from simply a utilitarian object through creating different scenarios in which to view them. The way two forms reflect each other’s profiles, a grid-work of cups both similar in form but completely unique when viewed together or large-scale forms created from actual body measurements provide a variety of experiences to explore the same body of work and find possible narratives. Traditional glazes are used to maintain a flesh-like aspect to the clay thus reminding us of our own physical selves. On one’s physical body we know that scars and imperfections mark moments in our lives and can trigger memory of those moments. Whether or not these experiences are positive or negative I am interested in embracing and celebrating the marks left behind as one progresses through life."