Journel ThomasNative to Appalachia, Journel was born into a family that valued hard work, self-sufficiency and hand...
Contemporary Clay Vessels
It is said that the work one makes comes out of the way one lives life. I look toward simplicity, color and playfulness—combined with a traditional approach to working with clay—as a way of expression. My work primarily begins from wheel-thrown forms. I enjoy the energy this gives to clay and through a wide variety of altering techniques and the combining of forms, the work I create are pieces which have three dimensional interest, gesture and animation. These present a situation for interpretation by the viewer. As a ceramic artist, I find it is also important to keep originality and creativity in my work. Exploring new ideas and one-of-a kind pieces allows for this. Just as the gradual swirl up the side of a mug causes a natural resting place for your hand, the intriguing combination of altered forms will cause you to pause and smile.
Originally from New Mexico, art has always been a part of Sue’s life. Early interests focused on painting in oils and acrylics – then moved into working with clay. After moving to South Carolina in 1984, clay became the main focus when Sue set up a studio near Columbia and worked as a production potter. She attained an MFA from Clemson University in 2004 and then had the opportunity to teach ceramics part-time at Clemson the next 6 years. Currently, Sue lives near Asheville, North Carolina – a beautiful place for visual stimulation and creativity! Not quite a production potter any longer, she is active in the studio full time – creating one-of-a-kind pieces, teapots and limited series. Teaching has shifted to workshop formats when opportunity arises.