Janice Jakielski

Oh Canada…..

Posted December 16th, 2012


Fall semester is officially over and I am halfway through my one year tenure as a Visiting Artist/Instructor in Ceramics at the Alberta College of Art and Design. It’s been a crazy year- as usual.  In May we packed up our life, sold off the furniture, three states, eight countries, one residency and four months later we settled (temporarily of course) in Calgary, AB.  Our adventures can be peeked at here:


My lovely students are all scattered about for the winter break and I have one full week of studio madness before hitting the road to Seattle for some holiday festivities.  I’m putting the finishing touches (and let’s be honest here still making new work) for a rapidly approaching solo exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft.  It’s a really exciting exhibition that will run concurrently with the 2013 NCECA Biennial.

Here’s a sneak peek of some daffodils in the making.






Birds and Clouds: Keeping the Winter Blues at Bay

Posted January 23rd, 2011

I’m in winter survival mode, everything that is reported, said, written, all of the mythical stories about winter in New England, I can tell you that it is completely true, every last word. Even the beagle won’t go outside. Tired of begging and pleading, I’ve begun throwing treats out the back door in hopes of enticing her to leave the house, a maneuver that I’m sad to report has only about a 40% success rate.

With the addition of six more inches of snow last Friday I decided to take some time to bake for a few of my favorite pots. Joshua and I have a cup collection we try to add a few each year and replace the ones broken by the pets (recent casualties: Jeremy Kane, Jen Allen and Sarah Jaeger…it’s been a rough year for pottery in our household). After seeing this post over at Not Martha I’ve been mulling over the idea of creating a set of perched cookies for some of my resident cups/yunomis/mugs.


We rotate through our favorite cups but the front-runners for the last month or so are the works of Steven Colby and Emily Schroeder.  Cups of contradiction at first glance, one dark the other light, terracotta vs. porcelain, hand-built opposite wheel- thrown.  But for all of the contradictions there are similarities, a perfectly balanced weight, carefully considered surface and most importantly each of these cups is infused with the absolutely inimitable character of the maker.

Unknown to me, Steven, Emily and I were students at Alfred University at the same time, it wasn’t until years later that our paths re-crossed.  Steven during my time at the Carbondale Clay Center and Emily a year later while pursuing my MFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


After years of successfully maintaining a studio practice in Carbondale, Colorado Steven is currently a graduate student at Penn State School of Visual Arts.  His carefully thrown pots of humble earthenware are adorned with layer upon layer of painted slips, creating motifs from the simple to the delightfully complex.   Imbued with generosity the pieces reveal themselves, bit by bit over time as they are subsumed into daily routines.



The evidence of the hand in Emily’s work acts in much the same manner.  The intimacy of the cup, an intimate object to begin with, is heightened through the mark making left by the artist’s fingertips.  Each unique pinch and release of the makers hand is preserved, a particular moment in time captured.  In this way her pots seem to breath.   Her surfaces are conceived with sensitivity to the forms  they enrich.  Emily recently taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada.  She is currently the new Director of Artist Programs at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago.



To see more of Steven Colby’s work please visit: http://stevencolby.wordpress.com/

For more information about Emily Schroeder: http://www.emilyschroeder.com/index.html

This site has tons of useful information about decorating with royal icing: http://sweetopia.net/

Test driving my Kristen Kieffer cake stand

Posted January 2nd, 2011

A few months ago my husband and I relocated from Boulder, Colorado/ Roswell, NM to Marlborough MA.  The move practically did us in and after living in a hotel (with two cats and one beagle) for a month we were ready to get back into the car and get out of dodge.  Then came the invitation to Ayumi Horie’s Pottery sale, which to our delight was to include the work of the incredibly talented Kristen Kieffer.  It was a wake up call that while we did have to say good bye to our beloved Rocky Mountains in return, our new proximity to Boston, New York and Philadelphia had placed a number of our favorite potters and their wares at our fingertips.

We have been using Ayumi’s pots for years and I have always wanted an excuse to visit her remodeled church turned studio/gallery (gorgeous!). And as long time admirers of Kristen’s work we were more then ready to see her pots in person.  Long story short…we made the drive, had a wonderful time and came home with a bag full of exciting new crockery.

Including the aforementioned cake stand.  I had to have this object the moment I laid my eyes on it.  The colors, patterns and painstaking details as well as absolutely meticulous craftsmanship may as well have been a neon sign blinking “Buy Me”.  The entire car ride home I mused and debated about what concoction could possibly be worthy of such a stand.


This of course was back in October and that admirable cake stand has been sitting nakedly on my shelf ever since, until this weekend, when I decided to grace it with a five-layer coconut cake made from this decadent recipe.  I highly, highly recommend making this cake but must warn that between the cake and the frosting it uses six..yes six! sticks of butter (realistically this cake stand needed and deserved at least six sticks of butter).


And now my question is: can potters be held accountable for the extra gym time required for indulging in amazing cake that had to be made for an amazing cake stand or should I stick to buying tea cups from here on out?

Kieffer and kate

For more information about Kristen Kieffer please visit: http://kiefferceramics.com/

Made in Clay-Form Follows Food

Posted December 4th, 2010

Too late to make the opening this evening but the show is up through the 6th of January.  I’m not making a lot of pots these days but I love the opportunity to put on my big corduroy apron and spend some time on the wheel. Jakielski_cups2jakielski_cups1

All images and site content © Janice Jakielski, 2010; all rights reserved.