TOM JASZCZAK + MIKE HELKE
Two Young Minnesotans
August 5, 2017 - August 26, 2017
3:00 - 5:00 PM
As a maker, the action of my hand can trace the memory or energy of an experience through illusive rhythms generated by form, positive and negative shapes, and building process marks. This unpredictability prevents a sense of austerity and instead gives the work an unassuming but active sensibility. This can inspire a sensory response, visually and tactilely, offering a sense of pleasure, visually and conceptually, both for me as the maker and for the user. Instead of a lasting feeling of happiness, this state provides a momentary relief and a feeling of delight—a temporary sensation, almost, but not quite tangible or definable; a lively sensation made seductive by its fleetingness. Each piece physically and conceptually records an animate sensibility derived from my experiences. This record is the catalyst for a call and response relationship that exists between maker, object, and user.
Form and Line drive my making. Line accents the changes in direction of rims, feet and form. These lines are physical and engage the user, but also serve to break up the pot visually. Formally my work has volume, it speaks of generosity. My pots are minimal and are rooted in the traditional Minnesota pottery I grew up admiring, I want my work to be paired down to the essentials emphasizing the fundamentals of pots and be truly useful. Form communicates a pots gesture; it speaks of utility, my pots reference common shapes and engage one’s imagination. I seek a balance between tradition and modern. My decoration is minimal or often a simple graphic, placement of this moment is essential to the focal point of each pot.My pots have layers, first the decoration that is bright yet flat and in the foreground.Second the slip that has a rich depth in surface and finally the ruggedness of the clay with scrapes and small pits. The cumulative journey of a pot tells a story and the story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks, drips, scratches and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story. I react to every firing with new ideas and new information; this keeps the overall process fresh and exciting. A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and both a thoughtfulness and playfulness in function.