High end Ceramicist redefining the materiality of Porcelain
I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Thorn in her incredible space within Centrespace Studios. Jess has been refining her practice for the past 10 years with support from the Craft Council, Art Council and many more established institutions. By mastering homeware porcelain ceramics, Jess is now exploring the next step in her career, pushing the boundary of art and craft. To understand the maker I am speaking to, I always like to take a moment to reflect what brought them into their practice?
"I think the link between my interest in making, science and also in food is... Alchemy.
The ability in turning a base ingredient or material into something new. I love transforming ingredients into a meal and transforming clay into pots.
That is inherent in me."
With the discovery of ceramics at university, Jess keenly developed her skill away from the traditional method of making and explored her own process with porcelain. The time spent in the studio, utilising all the resources available was crucial for the development of Jess' skill. However, sometimes when you have a new idea you need to go against the grain and this is what Jess did.
"Going against what the technicians recommended me to do, and exploring a material that was notably hard to work with. I persevered through testing, which has allowed me to do what I am still doing today."
From university to numerous creative schemes such as the John Sorrell Foundation, Craft Council Hothouse and an Artist in Residence, Jess describes these experiences as invaluable to get her to her practice. Allowing her not only to develop both her creativity but also her business skills. The contacts and relationship built during these opportunities were crucial, however Jess felt a lack of lasting support.
"I always think it would have been good to be able to touch base again with these programs a year after, mainly to help reflect on my growth, but also to have the opportunity to ask questions and seek other support if needed."
Personally, I feel like you can only truly understand an experience, once you've had time to absorb it and put it into practice. Therefore, the idea of touching base after an allocated amount of time would make for a brilliant opportunity to ground those learnings and push them further.
With this vast experience and years of development, Jess is now facing the next challenge of growing her practice.
"I feel that my initial goals were to get stocked in galleries, exhibit in exhibitions and to build a presence in the ceramics community. I have achieved that as an emerging artist, but I'm now looking for my next step. I currently see myself in a transition period between creating functional ware and work that lies between the boundaries of art & craft. I need time develop new ideas and also share them with a wider audience for the potential of different feedback."
"I am going back to my roots and start the alchemy of making again"
I can't wait to see this next chapter in Jess' career and what she develops next. Alongside her makes, Jess also teaches ceramics in her Centrespace Studio as a way to subsidise her art. So please support her by signing up to one of her amazing workshops and learn yourself the joys of making.
Porcelain One Day Workshop
6 week pottery workshop
One to One - Potters Wheel
I always like to cap these off with an opportunity for our creators to share some of their favourite makers:
One-to-watch: Natasha Wightman
Thank you so much Jess for participating! More Creative Diaries coming very soon.