Rat City Living - Jonathan Steele

Jonathan Steele

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Website:  www.jonathansteeleceramics.com

I grew up in the greater Seattle Area. I took my first ceramics class in 2008 as an elective at Whitworth University where I earned a BA in Physics. After graduating, I knew I wanted to dive into ceramics and I took the roundabout path of going back to community college to earn my acceptance into a Post-Bacc program in Art at University of Puget Sound. I earned my MFA in Craft from Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2016 and am currently Resident Artist at Pleasant Hill Pottery in Pleasant Hill, OR. I have accepted an offer for spring 2018 to be Sabbatical Replacement Professor for Chad Gunderson at University of Puget Sound and I look forward to the opportunities that will unfold for me from there.

Artist Statement:
I choose to look at the world with the eye of an artist, finding profound and poetic content in the simplest facts of nature. My ceramic works are my engagement with material as I find beauty in observing and placing my hands into the phenomena of the earth. It is about curiosity and the joy of wonderment in discovery. Physical accumulations and changes over time are as much my media as clay is and woodfiring my functional vessels is an expression of that. I provoke sensitivity to a material dynamic that is ever present in the world and strive to create a moment of considerate pause for my viewer.

How have you come to work with Rat City Studios:
I began my involvement with Rat City Studios in 2014. I was living in Seattle the summer before starting my MFA and Deb invited me to trade studio space in exchange for helping out with the studio building efforts that were taking place that summer. I helped to build a fence, framed the studio door, and sprung the arch on the pizza oven. I consider Rat City Studios to be one of my first great inspirations as I’ve envisioned making a career as a ceramic artist and setting up a studio for myself in the future.