Rat City Living - Jon Johnson

John Johnson


Website: www.johnsonclay.com

Jon first began to cultivate a love of clay as a student at Texas Tech University. Learning to throw on the potter’s wheel, he quickly learned to appreciate the simple rhythm of making with an intuitive, highly moveable material. Jon experimented with several different firing methods before becoming enraptured with the surface qualities achieved through the soda firing process and has been utilizing this technique almost exclusively in the time since then. Jon graduated from Texas Tech with a BFA in 2011, dabbled in the world of IT and graphic design between 2012 and 2016, and worked as a studio tech at the Helen Devitt Jones Clay Studio on the LHUCA campus in Lubbock, Texas from 2015 to 2017. In the summer of 2017, he knocked off around 800 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail before heading out to begin a yearlong assistantship with Deb Schwartzkopf at Rat City Studios in Seattle, Washington.

Artist Statement:
Making pots is a meditative act. In working with porcelain, I am afforded the ability to create a clean canvas upon which I build layers of glaze in loose patterns. To push these patterns further, I utilize atmospheric firing environments to speak to the pots about Nature in order to develop a wilder surface. I take great delight in the opening of a freshly fired kiln. The discovery of this “unknown” is what drives me to make pots in the manner that I do. The drawings I have begun to incorporate onto the surface of my pots are derived from psychic automatism sketching practice, wherein I focus the mind to be blank in an effort to allow my subconscious to spill forth through the pen. I see this as an extension of uncovering the “unknown,” instead focusing within my mind, rather than on the outside world. To understand the true character of things is at the forefront of why I make; ultimately, I seek to create pottery that encourages use by invoking a sense of natural wonder.

How have you come to work with Rat City Studios:
I started at Rat City as an assistant on August 1st of this year, and I hit the ground running with a few busy weeks of events and studio upgrades. Getting to know the local clay community through Deb has been a wonderful and humbling experience thus far, and I’m looking forward to that continuing throughout the year. While here, I’m converting (at least temporarily) to the cone 6 electric environment for my work, and I am really excited by some of the possibilities I’ve come across. Over the next year, I plan to continue the push to get my work into shows and further develop my online presence.