"Working with clay has helped me heal..."

My name is Jess Palmer. I'm a studio potter living and working in Port Chester, New York with my husband. For the past 7 years I have been making mostly functional porcelain pots and jewelry in a thriving shared community clay studio. My long career as a graphic designer has had a great impact on the work I am currently making. The objects I create are thrown, rolled, altered, decorated, and manipulated with my own two hands. Each piece is handmade, by me, in every way.

Meticulously designed surfaces coupled with modern elegant forms.

Skyscraper Bowl, Incised and sprigged,  turquoise and matte white glazes, Cone 6 Porcelain, 2015

Modern doesn't have to mean minimal. My work strikes the balance between form and decoration while remaining fresh and in tune with contemporary ceramics. Although influences such as Art Deco architecture can be seen in my work, they are not literal in their translations. My designer's mind boils everything down to geometry, line, pattern, decoration, and color.

I use a very wide range of surface techniques on my pieces including; incising, mishima, stamping, altering, spriging, and slip-trailing. Altering the surface of the clay and adding these tiny touches and details is what really excites me about the process. Occasionally I incorporate my computer design skills with creating die-cuts for templates and masks. I don't always use all of these techniques together on one piece. I like to find the balance for each piece so the decoration feels adequate and complete, but not overly complex or gaudy.

Color is signficant to me. I like colors that evoke relaxation, calm, and inner peace. Generally I tend towards whites, blues, turquoise, soft greens, and grays. I often add a pop of red, coral, or gold luster as a counterpoint to my mostly monochromatic palette. 

Working with clay has helped me heal in many ways. This medium is so forgiving, yet has a way of humbling and challenging you at every turn. Clay has truly changed my life and I'm grateful for having found it.

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