John Jessiman ceramics

I am interested in the ceramic process as a means to manifest ideas, create form and to invest work with energy, mystery and intrigue. In earlier ages the vessel was seen as less autonomous and embodied magic, mysticism and religion. As I have studied many of these greatly admired ancient pottery forms as well as early cave drawings, it is obvious that the literal content of the works are most often unknown. I believe, as stated by Robert Motherwell, that one does not have to fully understand works of art or their origins to enjoy and be enriched by them.

The early works of the Jomon potters, Native peoples, 15th – 16th century Japanese as well as many great contemporary artists have been an unending source of enrichment. The encrusted surfaces that embody unknown symbolic reference, the works of the tea ceremony, the brutality of Peter Voulkos, the sensuous understatements of Bob Turner and the paintings of Tapies, Motherwell and Joan Mitchell have, as well as many others, given me direction. In my own work and in my teaching, I have stressed the distinction between influence and imitation. I have always tried to take the many influences and distill them into a unique and personal statement.