Red Lodge Clay Center Long-Term Resident 2010-11
Jonathan Fitz is an artist based out of Missoula, Montana. Originally from Ohio, he received his B.F.A. in Ceramics from Ohio University in Athens, OH. While attending Ohio University, Jonathan spent a semester studying at Hochshule fur Kunst und Design, Burg Giebichenstein in Halle, Germany. Upon graduation, he participated in two year-long artist residencies at the Cub Creek Foundation and Red Lodge Clay Center. Jonathan has also participated in three short-term residencies at Belden Brick factory and was an invited participant at the 2015 Arrowmont Pentaculum. In the fall of 2011, Jonathan returned to the great state of Ohio to attend The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH to pursue his M.F.A in Ceramics. After graduating he returned to Montana to work for The University of Montana as the 3-D Technician, where he maintains the studios for the Sculpture and Ceramics Departments.
The objects I produce are results of experiments through which I am investigating ceramic materials. I enjoy working in the multiple because it provides me with an overabundant amount of objects to arrange and look at. I am interested in the variation from one object to the next. It is not only the objects I make, but the ones I leave behind and the residue that I am interested in: the marks left on the shelf; the way the water contains so much sulfur it stains my molds yellow. The materials I chose to use are base iron, cobalt, and calcium. They are not blends of elements built up to create compounds; there is a purity to these elements. They are simple, uncontrived building blocks for color and structure. I am interested in a standard and then the deviation from that standard by way of material melting.
I’m looking toward the horizon, the thing that separates the top from the bottom and the uncertainty of this line. The haze that covers it. The horizon can distort your perspective
making things appear larger, closer or further away depending on where you’re positioned
in relation to the thing. Objects are arranged on my shelves and are sometimes grouped by color or phenomena. They sit and rest. I examine them closely looking for that fuzzy line between them and then leave them alone, often coming back to them multiple times. As I work I diverge and become interested in stages along the way and stopping to smell the sulfur in the water. A crack becomes the Grand Canyon and a grain of sand a diamond.
The process often takes me further off the trail, but closer to an end. An end is temporary.
Eventually they will come full circle and they will be active again. Just as there is no better or worse, there is no beginning or end, just responding and reacting.