Sharon Jackman

Posted on September 29, 2009 by Sawdust Art Festival

Artist statement and process description

My first career in the arts was in modern dance, and I hold a master’s degree in that displine. Later in life, seeking another form of creative expression, I found clay. I like to think that I “choreograph” the clay so that it directs the eye and the mind. The flowing movement of my pieces are a reflection of the natural world that is my inspiration. I was fascinated to discover crystalline glazes, in which a process normally occurring deep in the earth can be coaxed to take place in a kiln. In this natural process, the crystals flow randomly across the surface of the porcelain, creating a choreography of their own.

I begin to create my forms by throwing high-fire porcelain on the potter’s wheel. The piece may then be carved, altered, or combined with other forms before applying the crystalline glaze and firing using a precise schedule. The crystals seem to float in their pool of glaze, creating a fourth dimension on the surface of the piece. The unpredictable variations in placement and size of the crystals makes each kiln opening an occasion for anticipation and wonder, like a child opening a gift.