“I leave the sunny path, push past the thickets and brambles, and enter the world of sun dappled and dark. Listen to the scolding squirrel and warning caw of the crow. Wander. Step over the rotted log. Taste the dampness in the air. Wonder. Dig into the leaf mold past the moss and mushroom, into the primeval loam. Smell the earth. Find the clay. Feel it Squish and ooze between my fingers. With It I fashion the things I’ve seen and imagined, into the three dimensional canvas onto which I paint.
I am the sole creator of each of my ceramic sculptures. While I do throw my own vessels on the wheel, I do not consider myself a potter, rather a sculptor and painter. To me the throwing of the pot is equivalent to a painter stretching a canvas. What goes on the outside surface is much more important than the vessel itself.
I work with porcelain into which I wedge a black stain, rendering a smooth black clay body. After throwing the vessel on the wheel I may embellish the pieces with sculptural elements. Elaborate paintings with glazes and under-glazes are incised, revealing the black stained porcelain beneath, giving my drawings a texture depth.
Animals and other ancient motifs are reoccurring themes in my work. I do not pre-draw my designs; rather I start with an idea and allow a story to unfold on the piece.
My larger earthenware sculptures tangle and mix animal shapes and colors for a rich visual mélange.” — JEF RAASCH
The Jef Raasch Gallery: