JON LOER / BIO

I am a functional potter. I create pieces that are visually pleasing, each with its unique personality, that are also useful in everyday life. I love the idea of people surrounding themselves with handmade objects and using them during their everyday rituals.

 

I 'm passionate about the process of making pottery. The rhythm of working with the clay, whether it is throwing or hand building, is a series of dependencies that can’t be rushed or skipped over. I work in Porcelain, Stoneware, and Earthenware, relishing each material’s unique attributes. I’m fascinated by learning about processes and using these processes within my vision to create something unique. I’m inspired by the history and tradition of ceramics; interpreting historical forms, techniques, and imagery in new ways. I find inspiration in organic forms and a preference for fluid line. Some of my most recent works are a series of trays cast from leaves from my garden. Surfaces in my work are often inspired by patterns in fabric, paintings, nature and historic pottery.

 

I grew up in the St, Croix River valley, an area of Minnesota with a rich history of pottery and ceramic makers. My parents and grandparents all come from Red Wing, Minnesota. This was also the home of the Red Wing Pottery. My family collected and treasured Red Wing Pottery, a reminder of simpler times. One of my precious pieces is a vase that my grandmother would often take to church on Sundays filled with flowers from her garden. The bottom of the vase is still labeled with her name so it will come back to her after the flowers wilted.

 

I had wonderful teachers in High School and at the University of Minnesota where Warren McKenzie inspired many generations of potters, including myself. As handcrafted pottery became more mainstream in the 1970's I felt connected to the tradition of pottery through Warren and his mentor's British potter Bernard Leach and Japanese potter Shoji Hamada.

 

I took a 30-year "sabbatical" from ceramics, but several years ago rediscovered my passion for all things clay at Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. In summer, 2013 I moved into Fire on the Greenway studio space with 13 other ceramic artists. My dogs, Kittson, Puck and Maylee have become studio assistants and enthusiastic supporters. Their favorite functional pottery is the dog bowls I create for them. I keep telling them that water out of a celadon glazed porcelain bowl tastes much better than water out of an old Cool Whip bowl. They're skeptical.

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