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Jennifer Chetelat

Carved in Mud Pottery
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My first experience with clay was in high school, however it was somewhat limited. I began college as an art-education major. My junior year, I took a ceramics 101 class and it felt like home to me. I subsequently changed majors and graduated from Towson University in 1995 with a B.S. in Fine Art.

Early in my career, I met a potter named Wayne Bates at a craft show. I was intrigued with his work and the process with which he created his designs. Another huge inspiration for me was the patterns and designs of Native American pottery of the southwest. I visited and fell in love with Santa Fe and that part of our country and the art that is produced there. My early work married the bold colors of work like Mr. Bates and the traditional patterns of southwest Native American Pottery.

As I became more skilled with the process, I began doing more free-form designs. I would always (and still do) look to fashion and home décor trends for my color palette and design patterns.

In 2013, I visited Alaska and parts of Canada. Again, I found myself drawn to the Native art. The Tlingit Indians are found in this part of the Pacific Northwest. Their bold patterns and colors are beautiful to me. However, I kept looking for pottery that was made in this style while on my trip and I found none. I was eager to translate this beautiful art in to my vision and my pottery.

My pottery is wheel –thrown porcelain. I then apply a black underglaze while the pots are leather-hard and I use a sgraffito (looped wire) tool to remove the color to expose the white clay. Next I go back in and apply the color to the designs. After it is bisque fired, I apply a clear glaze and it is fired again to 2250 F which makes it extremely durable. It is dishwasher and microwave safe. I hope you use my pots and enjoy them!

I live in Midlothian, VA (just outside of Richmond) with my husband and 2 children. We moved here from Baltimore, MD in 2000. I work out of a studio in my back yard. (It’s really just a nice shed with electricity, but my husband gets a little sensitive when we call it a shed.)

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