Jay Jenson is functional potter teaching and working in River Falls, Wisconson. His is an emerging group of ceramic artists, including Andy Brayman and Del Harrow, utilizing technology to produce his art. Jenson uses digital CAD technology to design his functional forms and then transfers his designs into slab-build pottery decorated with graphic patterns. His digital-to-slab designing adds another transformational step to the ceramic process that could be looked at as a parallel to the clay-to-ceramic firing phenomenon, changing the physical state of the medium. Not surprisingly, Jenson’s pots and process are inspired by by modernist design and architecture.
Jenson explains a series he completed for Mudfire Gallery, “My slab-constructed earthenware 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. I also use the computer to design graphic patterns that are cut by a local sign company to create masks or resists for glazing the surface of my work. My slipcast midfire work is created from 3D models that are designed from the same CAD program. I use the same vinyl masks to apply slips to surfaces. The two bodies of work contrast one another in surface and material but share some of the same design sensibilities.”
Jenson studied graphics and ceramics at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he received his BS in Liberal Arts in 1991. He later received his MFA in ceramics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2005 and now teaches ceramics at a community college in Western Wisconsin.
What do you think of ceramic artists like Jenson, using digital technology to make their art?