Jenn ColeCookeville, Tennessee

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Red Lodge Clay Center, RLCC Staff Member 2016-2017, Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2018, (AIA) 2023

Jenn Cole is a ceramic artist and curator from Lancaster, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts  degree in Ceramics. Following graduation, Jenn was a Resident Artist at The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio in Iowa, the Artist- In -Residence of Exhibitions at The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee, and a Short-Term Resident at The Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana. In 2020 she returned to The Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio as a short-term Visiting Artist. 

Jenn has exhibited her pottery and curated shows in galleries across the country and has worked as the Gallery Manager at The Appalachian Center for Craft and as the Curator of Exhibitions and Gallery Coordinator for The Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT.  

I believe functional pottery should beautify everyday rituals and be a pleasure to use. I make pottery with the goal of welcomed utility and quiet moments of contemplation, and the hope of sharing meals with loved ones.

Familial connections, vintage-inspired imagery, English tea sets, and dialogue between the past and present are the foundation of my work. I am inspired by a quilt meticulously crafted by my great grandmother, heirlooms from relatives and the stories intrinsically linked to these objects. 

Memory is preserved through the tactile experience and archival process. Clay as a material acts as retention of memory in a similar manner, remembering and preserving every detail throughout the making process.

I throw simple, clean-lined forms from earthenware clay and apply white slip to create a blank canvas for drawing and painting delicate motifs. As my imagery progresses across a vessel, I think about how the surface of a pot can transcend a cloth canvas. Through the repetition of floral patterns and systematic mark making coupled with painterly underglaze application, my process enables me to move fluidly between quilting, pattern design, and traditional ceramic techniques. I aim to evoke a sense of nostalgia through the catalyst of surface adornment.