Jamie Zane Smith
We are so happy to be working with Jamie. He participated in the miniature show, and his work was fantastic. So now he will be a regular with our gallery. Jamie is an immensely talented young potter, who is also a particularly thoughtful and interesting person. I asked him to put into his own words a bit of a biography. Here is Jamie’s statement:
My work references ancient ancestral stories and symbols from traditional Wyandot heritage. I present these in a language of repetitive visual vibrations to tell a contemporary story. I am inspired by the maple tree constantly pushing up through the earth and spreading her roots and branches. Every year she opens her structurally patterned leaves to face the sun. Each leaf takes in light and stores the energy. With the stored energy the tree creates food and habitat for the forest. In this way the tree sustains its own life and culture by generously providing and sharing abundantly in a symmetrical fashion.
I am interested in symbolism that helps to tell our story and connect us to our origins. The ceramic vessel forms reference ancient culinary utensils. The big pots represent kettles and storage jars that would feed multiple families living in close community. The kettles of ancient times helped provide cultural nourishment by outputting an abundance of food and enhancing the environment. The forms and symbols that I create tell a story of contemporary people and remind us that we are the axis that connects future generations to our indigenous ancestors.
My process includes collecting native clays and carving wooden stamps. The wood for the carved stamps is sourced from local hardwoods. The clay forms the vessels and is used as the base for the fired-on slip paints. The carvings on the stamps contain imagery that is impressed in a serial fashion on the surface of the pots. Each individual stamp detail is the result of a vertical block printing in clay. The action involved in the transfer of the design from the stamp to the clay corrugates the surface. It also increases the strength and expands the form of the vessel. The paint on the surface enhances the visual effect by sorting the elements embedded in the stamp and relating them to the whole. The imagery employed seeks to visually explore the structure at the root of our reality. There is a common language shared by all things. Through three dimensional rendering I attempt to express a visual metaphor that helps define the contemporary state of experience.