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. Jensen also uses the computer to design graphic patterns that are cut by a local sign company to create masks or resists for glazing the surface of his work. His approach to the development of his work stems from his previous experience as a graphic designer and his 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.
Jensen's 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. He finds 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, Jensen finds it important to spend hours designing on the computer, assembling slabs of clay, and glazing using intricate vinyl masks. He hopes the user who purchases his work shares the joy of labor he exerts. Although Jensen may not be interested in mass production and providing a large community with affordable pottery as Russell Wright had done, he does feel it is important to provide people with well-designed approachable functional objects. It is important to himself as a potter to design things thoughtfully and beautifully and to make using objects enjoyable just as Wright had envisioned his clients to experience.
6858 Paoli Road • Paoli, Wisconsin 53508 • 608-845-6600 • Located just southwest of Madison